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Amphetamine.gifStructure of Amphetamine.png
Systematic name 1-phenylpropan-2-amine
Other names (±)-alpha-methylbenzeneethanamine,
Molecular formula C9H13N
SMILES NC(C)Cc1ccccc1
Molar mass Molar mass::135.2084
Appearance colorless liquid
CAS number CAS number::300-62-9
CAS number::405-41-4(hydrochloride)
CAS number::60-13-9(sulphate)
Density and phase [[Density::.946 g/cm3,]] liquid
Solubility in water 50–100 mg/mL (16C°) mg/mL (20 °C)
Melting point Melting point::280 °C
Boiling point Boiling point::201.5 °C
Main hazards Habit forming drug
NFPA 704

NFPA 704 svg.png

Flash point 80.0 °F
Related compounds
Related Amines Methamphetamine
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Disclaimer and references

Amphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant that was first discovered in 1887 by chemist Lazăr Edeleanu, but was not used as a drug until much later in the early 1930’s. Since then, amphetamine has been used to treat such ailments as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. The use of amphetamine has become widespread and is often abused. Amphetamine can now only be legally obtained with a subscription. On the street amphetamine is know by many street names such as speed, pep pills, or amp.[1]


Amphetamine is a liquid with an amine odor that boils at 201.5°C. It is composed of a chemical structure that includes nine atoms of carbon, thirteen atoms of hydrogen, and one nitrogen atom. [2]

When amphetamine is consumed, the nerve cell will become highly concentrated with dopamine.

Amphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant, meaning that it affects the speed of physical and mental functions. [3] When a person consumes amphetamine or an amphetamine derivative, the chemical dopamine becomes highly concentrated in the brain, mainly around the synaptic clefts, the spaces between nerve cells. [4]Dopamine, being a neurotransmitter, will then affect many functions in the brain. As the amphetamine takes its affect, the consumer will feel the sensation of euphoria, a state of well-being. [5] Other effects of amphetamine in the human body include the sensation of being alert, awake, and hunger free. The user of amphetamine will also feel a heightened since of physical and mental strength. [6]


Romanian chemist Lazăr Edeleanu (1861-1941) first discovered amphetamine in 1887. He first synthesized amphetamine at the University of Berlin, located in Berlin, Germany. Little is known about Lazăr Edeleanu except for that he was of Jewish decent.[7] Edeleanu first named the organic compound phenylisopropylamine. He isolated amphetamine from the plant derivative ephedrine, which is also a stimulant. Ephedrine was isolated from the Chinese plant Ma-Huang (ephedra) by Nagai Nagayoshi in 1887. [8] It was thought that there was no pharmaceutical use for amphetamine until 1929 when a psychopharmacologist by the name of Gordon Alles took a closer look at the compound. Soon GlaxoSmithKline, a pharmaceutical company began selling amphetamine in the form of the brand name Benzedrine. It was used as a decongestant. During the Second World War, it was used to keep soldiers awake and alert. [9] In 1965, the FDA came to a realization that amphetamine had become an abused drug. It soon became a drug available only through a prescription.


Photograph of the prescription drug, Adderall

Amphetamine is primarily used as a central nervous system stimulant and an appetite suppressant. It affects the amounts of chemicals in the body influencing things such as blood pressure and heart rate. [10] Many diseases and conditions are treated by amphetamine and amphetamine derivatives. Depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy (a neurological sleeping disorder), brain trauma, and chronic fatigue syndrome are all treated by amphetamine. [11] Amphetamine is known by many trade names, some of which include Benzedrine, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Vyvanse.

Common Abuses

Amphetamine is one of many commonly abused substances. It is well known on the streets as speed. It is a very popular choice of drug in the club scene. Speed consists of five percent of amphetamine sulphate, and the rest being highly potent chemicals. Speed can be ingested into the body many ways, the most common being swallowed, smoked, injected or snorted. It can also be dissolved into foods or drinks.[12] Speed has a highly negative effect on the body. People use it to get a since of alertness and happiness, but its downfalls defiantly outweigh its positive qualities. People on speed become jittery and cannot sleep or rest. They become irritable and violent. They also experience paranoia and hallucinations. The use of speed also has many physical affects on the body. A user of speed can experience extreme weightless, brought on by the loss of appetite. The use of speed will also result in increased heart rate and blood pressure, which in some cases can lead to sudden cardiac arrest.[13] the prolonged use of speed will often bring about an addiction to the drug. Due to the negative effects of speed, it has become outlawed in the United States and in may other countries around the world, but sadly, it is still a highly popular street drug.