We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Effects of Amphetamines?

By Alison Faria
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The effects of amphetamines vary in accordance with the weight, height, and overall health of a person. How the amphetamines are taken also can produce varying effects. Short-term effects can include increased energy, irritability, and a reduced appetite. Psychosis, malnutrition, and brain damage are among the long-term effects of taking amphetamines that might be experienced.

Amphetamines can be injected, swallowed, sniffed, or smoked. Injections produce effects almost immediately, while effects via the other forms can take up to 40 minutes. Amphetamines also are known as speed because they speed up bodily processes. The initial effects of amphetamines often consist of increases in blood pressure, heart rate, sweating, and breathing. Headaches, pupil dilation, and a dry mouth also might occur at the same time.

Other effects of amphetamines can include a heightened sense of well-being, and increased amounts of confidence and energy. These are among the main effects that can cause a person to become addicted to amphetamines, and are particularly prevalent among those who frequent nightclubs. As the initial euphoric effects of amphetamines wear off, withdrawal symptoms can set in. These symptoms can include exhaustion, depression, panic attacks, or feelings of anger and restlessness. In particular, the panic attacks can lead to paranoia, which in turn sometimes can escalate into hallucinations.

People might take amphetamines repeatedly to avoid withdrawal symptoms, and this can lead to overdoses. Overdoses also can happen in those who have built up a resistance to the euphoric effects of amphetamines. In such a situation, people might try taking more to reclaim that state of euphoria. Those who overdose on amphetamines can experience high body temperatures, strokes, seizures, or heart failure.

Those who use amphetamines on a regular basis can become so physically and emotionally depleted over time that they do not eat much at all. Malnutrition, paired with the lack of sleep that many addicts experience, can lower the natural defenses of their body, making them more susceptible to infections. Brain damage also can happen to those who use amphetamines. Damaged brain cells can result in thinking impairments, memory loss, and violent mood swings.

Illegal amphetamines are often impure. This means that pure amphetamines often are mixed with other substances such as ephedrine, glucose, or sugar. These are potentially poisonous combinations, and can cause tetanus, damage to the brain, heart, or liver, collapsed veins, and abscesses. Those who inject these amphetamines are also at a higher risk for hepatitis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By literally45 — On Mar 27, 2013

Malnutrition and lack of sleep also leads to psychosis which is a side effect of long-term amphetamine use.

Generally, amphetamine psychosis occurs after many years of regular use. But my friend, who abused amphetamine, achieved the same level of psychosis in just a few days. He took very high doses of amphetamine which caused him to stay awake for days without eating. He had to be hospitalized because he was paranoid, hallucinating and he was also severely dehydrated.

I think the effects of amphetamine is not too different from cocaine effects. They both affect the brain, the cause feelings of euphoria, relaxation, happiness and they cause addiction.

By stoneMason — On Mar 26, 2013

@ddljohn-- Yea, that's a common side effect of stimulants. Amphetamine stimulates the central nervous system. It improves concentration but that's because it increases body functions in general. The heart works faster and pumps more blood to the brain. Unfortunately, this also means palpitations and high blood pressure.

By ddljohn — On Mar 26, 2013

I was on this drug for ADHD. I think it was effective, I could concentrate better but I had a lot of side effects. I had very bad heart palpitations when I was on amphetamine and that gave me anxiety. I had to switch to a different medication.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.