The key difference between amphetamine and methamphetamine is that amphetamines are less potent than methamphetamines.
Amphetamine and methamphetamine can bring on similar effects when they are misused. However, there are some differences between them. Both are stimulant drugs that can speed up the information traveling between the brain and the rest of the body.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Amphetamine
3. What is Methamphetamine
4. Similarities – Amphetamine and Methamphetamine
5. Amphetamine vs Methamphetamine in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Amphetamine vs Methamphetamine
What is Amphetamine?
Amphetamine is a strong central nervous system stimulant that is useful in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and obesity. This medication was first discovered in 1887, and it exists in two isomeric forms (enantiomers named D and L).
Amphetamine is also known by the trade names Evekeo and Adderall. Its chemical name is alpha-methylphenethylamine. The dependence liability and addiction liability of this medication are moderate. Route of medical administration of amphetamine are oral and intravenous, but recreational administration may include oral, insufflation, rectal, and intramuscular means. This drug can be described as a stimulant and an anorectic drug.
The bioavailability of amphetamine can be given in the range of 75 – 100%. The protein binding ability of this medication is 20%. Primarily, the excretion of amphetamine happens through the renal route. For the D enantiomer, the elimination half-life is 9 – 11 hours, and the elimination half-life of the L enantiomer is in the range of 11 – 14 hours. The chemical formula of amphetamine is C9H13N. The molar mass of this compound is 135.21 g/mol. The chirality of amphetamine can be described as a racemic mixture, and the density is 0.936 g/cm3. The melting point of this drug is 11.3 degrees Celsius while the boiling point is 203 degrees Celsius.
Moreover, amphetamine is in the phenethylamine class, which is also the parent compound of its own structural class, “the substituted amphetamines.” This includes prominent substances, including bupropion, cathinone, MDMA, and methamphetamine.
What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine is a potent central nervous system stimulant that is useful in recreational drugs and less commonly found as a second-line treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obesity. This drug was discovered in 1893. This exists as two enantiomers: D and L form.
The trade names of methamphetamine are Desoxyn and Methedrine. The chemical name of this compound is N-methylamphetmaine. The physical dependence liability of methamphetamine is negligible, while the psychological dependence liability is high. Moreover, the addiction liability is high as well. The medical route of administration for methamphetamine is oral (ingestion), while the recreational routes include oral, intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous, vapor inhalation, insufflation, rectal, and vaginal administration.
The bioavailability of methamphetamine is 67% when orally taken, while it is 100% when taken via the intravenous route. The protein binding ability varies widely. Moreover, the onset of action is 3 hours at peak when orally taken whereas it is less than 15 minutes in the intravenous administration. The elimination half-life can be given as 9 – 12 hours, and the duration of action is 8 – 12 hours. Excretion occurs primarily through the kidney.
Furthermore, a low to moderate dose of this medication can elevate the mood, increase alertness, concentration, and energy in fatigued patients, reduce the appetite, and can promote weight loss. But a high dose can cause psychosis, breakdown of skeletal muscle, seizures, and bleeding in the brain.
What are the Similarities Between Amphetamine and Methamphetamine?
- Amphetamine and methamphetamine are stimulant drugs.
- Both can cause intense pleasure or happiness.
- They make us more active and talkative.
- Both can make us hungry.
What is the Difference Between Amphetamine and Methamphetamine?
Both amphetamines and methamphetamines are stimulant drugs. They have similarities as well as some differences between them. The key difference between amphetamine and methamphetamine is that amphetamines are less potent than methamphetamines.
The below infographic presents the differences between amphetamine and methamphetamine in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Amphetamine vs Methamphetamine
Amphetamine is a strong central nervous system stimulant that is useful in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and obesity, while methamphetamine is a potent central nervous system stimulant that is useful in recreational drugs. The key difference between amphetamine and methamphetamine is that amphetamines are less potent than methamphetamines.
1. “Amphetamine.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation.
1. “Amfetamin” By Wesalius – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Racemic methamphetamine” By Boghog – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
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