This article was published on July 26, 2022.
1. An illicit drug of abuse
2. An FDA-approved medication—brand name Desoxyn®.
But, in this article, we will only discuss methamphetamine in terms of its misuse.
As a drug of abuse, it is typically used by smoking or snorting. But, sometimes it is injected intravenously.
How is methamphetamine different from amphetamine-containing medications?
– Is more potent
– Crosses the blood-brain barrier more easily and, so, has a faster onset of effect
What are the risks of methamphetamine abuse?
Misuse of methamphetamine can have very serious consequences and can lead to death.
Cardiovascular adverse effects (Tobolski et al., 2022):
– Dilated cardiomyopathy
– Benign arrhythmias
– Malignant arrhythmias
– Vasospasm of coronary arteries, which can lead to myocardial infarction
– Atherosclerotic coronary artery disease
– Dissection of the aorta
– Hemorrhagic stroke
Psychiatric adverse effects
– Methamphetamine-induced psychotic disorder. This occurs in a third or more of those who use methamphetamine. But, those with psychotic disorders are also more likely to misuse methamphetamine. So, the relationship between methamphetamine and psychotic disorders seems to be bidirectional. We will discuss methamphetamine-induced psychotic disorder and its treatment in a separate article on this website.
– Tooth decay with chronic use (due to dry mouth
Management of methamphetamine use disorder
This will be discussed in a separate article on this website.
Substance use disorders—General
Chiang M, Lombardi D, Du J, Makrum U, Sitthichai R, Harrington A, Shukair N, Zhao M, Fan X. Methamphetamine-associated psychosis: Clinical presentation, biological basis, and treatment options. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2019 Sep;34(5):e2710. doi: 10.1002/hup.2710. Epub 2019 Aug 22. PMID: 31441135.
Jones CM, Houry D, Han B, Baldwin G, Vivolo-Kantor A, Compton WM. Methamphetamine use in the United States: epidemiological update and implications for prevention, treatment, and harm reduction. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2022 Feb;1508(1):3-22. doi: 10.1111/nyas.14688. Epub 2021 Sep 24. PMID: 34561865; PMCID: PMC9097961.
Tobolski J, Sawyer DB, Song SJ, Afari ME. Cardiovascular disease associated with methamphetamine use: a review. Heart Fail Rev. 2022 Jul 18. doi: 10.1007/s10741-022-10261-7. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35844009.
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