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Precautions and Warnings With Methamphetamine

Some Methamphetamine Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions with methamphetamine include the following:
  • Amphetamines (including methamphetamine) are often abused. Taking amphetamines for extended periods of time can lead to dependence on such drugs (see Methamphetamine Addiction and Abuse). Because methamphetamine is commonly abused, there are special rules for prescribing it (see Methamphetamine: A Controlled Substance for more information).
  • Because methamphetamine is frequently abused, it should be prescribed rarely, only when other treatments have been tried first. You should never increase your methamphetamine dose without the approval of your healthcare provider.
  • When used for obesity treatment, methamphetamine will begin to be less effective within a few weeks. When this happens, stop taking the medication (it should not be increased or continued in any way) to reduce the chance of methamphetamine dependence or abuse.
  • Never use methamphetamine for treating fatigue or as a replacement for sleep.
  • If you have high blood pressure (hypertension), it's important to make sure your healthcare provider is aware of it. If you have mild hypertension, he or she may wish to use particular caution in your case. Methamphetamine should not be used to treat people with moderate or severe high blood pressure.
  • Methamphetamine can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Methamphetamine).
  • Methamphetamine is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that methamphetamine may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk with your healthcare provider before using methamphetamine during pregnancy (see Methamphetamine and Pregnancy for more information).
  • Methamphetamine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding (or plan to breastfeed), be sure to talk with your healthcare provider. He or she can decide whether taking methamphetamine while breastfeeding would be okay for your particular situation.
  • Stimulants used to treat ADHD have been associated with problems in blood vessels in the fingers and toes, sometimes causing problems such as Raynaud's disease. Alert your healthcare provider to any signs of this problem, such as cold or numb toes or fingers.
  • There have been reports of priapism in people taking ADHD medications, including this one. This side effect is an abnormally long-lasting, painful erection and can cause serious, permanent damage to the penis. It can occur in males of any age. Young boys might not recognize this side effect, and males of any age might be hesitant to seek parental or medical attention, due to embarrassment. Prompt treatment is necessary to avoid damage.
Be especially on the lookout for this side effect whenever the dosage is increased or during a drug "holiday" or any other time when the drug is stopped.
  • Methamphetamine can worsen tics that are caused by Tourette syndrome. Tell your healthcare provider if you (or your child) have Tourette syndrome before starting methamphetamine.
  • Methamphetamine can cause decreased weight gain and temporarily slow the growth of children. This slowing of growth is usually minor, and children usually catch up to a normal growth rate with time. Your child's growth should be monitored while he or she is taking methamphetamine.
  • Methamphetamine may affect your ability to perform tasks that require complete concentration, such as driving, operating machinery, or piloting an airplane, especially during the first few weeks of treatment. Discuss this with your healthcare provider before starting the medication.
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