Amphetamines are stimulants which act on the central nervous system to delay fatigue and increase alertness.
Medical Uses of Amphetamines
- ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
- Narcolepsy (a neurological condition resulting in disturbed night-time sleep and periods of excessive daytime sleepiness)
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (a poorly understood condition characterised by muscle and joint pain, cognitive difficulty, and chronic mental and physical exhaustion)
Effects on Performance
Amphetamines have been used by drug cheating athletes to resist fatigue and increase alertness, although use appears to have diminished due to publicity over its negative side-effects. There is also evidence that Amphetamines are capable of increasing speed, power, endurance, and concentration.
Side-Effects of Amphetamines
The main adverse effect of Amphetamine use is with associated addiction. Athletes can become dependant on the drug, resulting in long-term use and a higher risk of more severe side-effects. Even short-term use can produce the following side-effects:
- Cerebral hemorrhage (rupture of a blood vessel in the brain)
- Confusion, paranoia & delirium
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Angina (chest pain resulting from a lack of blood to the heart)
- Abdominal pain
- Irritability & restlessness