Chipkin, Richard E. Department of Pharmacology, Schering Corporation, Bloomfield, New Jersey.
Last reviewed:December 2019
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A stimulating drug that affects the brain and the body. Amphetamine is a stimulant of the central nervous system. Chemically, amphetamine is a racemic mixture of the l and d isomers of α-methyl-β-phenethylamine (see illustration). The l isomer has more pronounced effects on the body, whereas the d isomer (commonly referred to as dextroamphetamine or Dexedrine) has a greater effect on the brain. The first amphetamine drug to be synthesized was known as amphetamine sulfate or Benzedrine. On the whole, the pharmacological effects of amphetamine produce an increase in blood pressure, a relaxation of bronchial smooth muscle, a constriction of the blood vessels supplying the skin and mucous membranes, and a variety of alterations in behavior. See also: Brain; Central nervous system; Pharmacology; Psychotomimetic drugs
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