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Amphetamine overdose: Overview

You have been treated for taking too much of an amphetamine. You are getting better, but you may not feel well for a while. It takes time for the drug to leave your body. How long it takes to feel better depends on the drug and how much you took.

Amphetamines are stimulants. Doctors may prescribe them to treat conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Taking too much of a stimulant can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. You may become shaky and restless. You may have chills, nausea, and vomiting. You may see or hear things that seem real but aren't (hallucinations). Or you may believe things that are not true (delusions).

When the doctor treated you for the overdose, they may have:

  • Watched your symptoms or done tests to find out what kind of drugs you took.
  • Tried to clear the drugs from your body by pumping your stomach or giving you medicine to absorb the drugs.
  • Given you fluids to help prevent damage to your kidneys.
  • Given you medicine to help make you calm.
  • Treated you to help control your heart rate and blood pressure.

The doctor also watched you carefully to make sure you were recovering safely.

How can you care for yourself after an amphetamine overdose?

  • Take good care of yourself. When you take amphetamines regularly, your body gets used to them. This is called physical dependence. If you are physically dependent on amphetamines, you may have withdrawal symptoms when you stop using them or you use less. These include drowsiness, vivid dreaming, hunger, and feeling tired and depressed. You may also feel confused and have trouble thinking clearly. To help get past these:
    • Get plenty of rest.
    • Drink lots of fluids.
    • Stay active, but don't tire yourself.
    • Eat healthy foods.
  • Get help to stop using amphetamines. Talk to your doctor about substance use treatment programs.

Amphetamine overdose: When to call

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You feel you cannot stop from hurting yourself or someone else.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You need more help or support to stop.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.