Side Effects of Methamphetamine

Side Effects of Methamphetamine

Side effects of methamphetamine may include increased heart rate, dizziness and high blood pressure. To know more about its side effects, read on.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Methamphetamine is an addictive drug that stimulates the central nervous system. This drug is a pure form of amphetamine, and has become a drug of abuse in the United States. It can be snorted, smoked, injected or taken orally.

People who are completely dependent on methamphetamine, are at a great risk of losing their ability to cope with stress and work. As soon as the drug is administered, the immediate side effects of this drug include decreased appetite and increased activity.

Serious side effects of this drug are as follows:
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Heart palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Uncontrolled movement of the mouth, arms, neck or head
  • Restlessness
  • Symptoms of an allergic reaction such as itching and unexplained rash
Increases Release of Dopamine
Methamphetamine is known to increase the production of the brain chemical dopamine. As certain regions of the brain get flooded with dopamine, it produces euphoria (a feeling of great joy and excitement). Repeated use of this drug can lead to dopamine buildup in the brain, which can have an adverse impact on the human behavior.

Sleep Problems
Sleep deprivation is the most common side effect of this drug. This eventually leads to excessive tiredness and depression.

Disturbances in Dopamine Levels
Dopamine imbalance in the brain can cause:
  • Hallucinations (the perception of something that is not really present)
  • Extreme paranoia
  • Bizarre, violent behavior
  • Mood disturbances
Methamphetamine being a powerful stimulant gives a feeling of increased energy. An intense sensation or rush is experienced for a short time when the drug is injected in the body. This happens because high levels of dopamine is released into specific areas of the brain that control the feelings of pleasure.

Short-term effects of this medication are as follows:
  • Increased alertness
  • Feeling of extreme happiness
  • Decreased fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased respiration
  • Hyperthermia
Side effects as observed in clinical trials, in which a group of people were given this drug, have been studied and documented. They are as listed below:
  • Headache
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Unpleasant feelings
  • Insomnia
  • Shakiness
  • Abnormally good mood
  • Change in sex drive or impotence (the drug may destroy sex drive)
People who often use methamphetamine are at a great risk of damaging their brain cells. The drug can also cause a number of cardiovascular problems, such as irregular heartbeat and rapid heart rate. Although the drug initially gives pleasurable effects, long-term use can cause the following side effects:
  • Seizures
  • Damage to the blood vessels situated in the brain
  • Excess fluid accumulates in the brain tissue, skull and the lungs
  • Hyperpyrexia (the body temperature is higher than 104 degree Fahrenheit)
  • Internal bleeding; normal blood flow is disrupted which can cause damage to other parts of the body
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.