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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Amphetamines

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

False Positive Test For Amphetamine [posted 8/13/98]
Question: Subject uses prescribed oral tilade, azmacort and nasal becanase. Can these cause a false positive for amphetamine in urine tests?

Answer: Shouldn't.

Amphetamine in System [posted 8/13/98]
Question: I'm 21 years old. I'm an abstinent. I used drugs (marijuana, LSD, speed, mushrooms), but I'm finished. It is possible that during 3 years taking an amphetamine traces can be found in my body now? I haven't had any in 3 months and my doctor found this product in my urine.

Answer: It is stored in fat and released slowly. It can be detected for months to years after use depending on the levels used and the fat storage in your body.

Amphetamine Withdrawal [posted 8/7/98]
Question: I have been a (almost daily) methamphetamine user for the last 10 years or so. I'm wanting to quit, but am having problems with the withdrawal. I am perfectly functional with light to moderate use, but become totally nonfunctional when I'm not on the drug. Not only do I experience the usual symptoms (irritability, extreme depression, inability to get going, etc.), but I also experience strange seizure-like brain anomalies. These can be quite frightening, usually occurring while lying down before I get to sleep and kind of feel like an aneurysm and like all the neurons in my brain fire at once or like fireworks going off in my head. What I was wondering is if there is some kind of prescription drug available to help wean me off the illicit drug. Please spare me the "treatment group" route since I have no problem quitting addictions on my own (I quit smoking, drinking and all other drugs long ago with just a simple decision on my part). I'm just having trouble with the physiological problem of the methamphetamine.

Answer: Clonidine is sometimes helpful in drug withdrawal. Also, Effexor or Wellbutrin is sometimes helpful, but shouldn't be used with amphetamines. Clonidine would not have this caution.

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