Pharmacology and Toxicology of Amphetamine and Related Designer Drugs

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Author : Khursheed Asghar & Errol De Souza

Published in : NIDA Research Monograph

ISBN : 978-01600-2520-4

File Type : pdf

File Size : 3 mb

Language : English

Description

The abuse of amphetamines is of national concern from a public health perspective. Review of this subject is timely and important, because the problem of amphetamine-like drugs has recently been amplified by the introduction of designer drugs in the illicit market. There has been an increasing number of attempts by chemists in clandestine laboratories to synthesize structurally altered congeners that might intensify the moodaltering property of this class of compounds. While attention over the last few decades has been centered on research related to amphetamine, methamphetamine, and clinically prescribed amphetamine derivatives including fenfluramine, recent attention has focused on a variety of
amphetamine-related designer drugs. These designer drugs include ringsubstituted derivatives of amphetamine and methamphetamine such as 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA “ecstasy”), respectively. MDMA has been the focus of a great deal of recent attention, since it represents one of a number of “designer drugs” that is being increasingly abused among certain segments of the population, especially among college students. This popularity is ascribed to the drugs’ mixed central nervous system (CNS) stimulant and hallucinogenic effects. Furthermore, MDMA has been the subject of recent scientific and legal debate, as several psychiatrists have reported that MDMA may “enhance emotions” and “feelings of empathy” and thus serve as an adjunct in psychotherapy. While the psychotherapeutic usefulness of this drug remains to be determined, a great deal of research has been carried out on the abuse liability, behavioral effects, and neurotoxic effects of the amphetamine-related designer drugs.
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