Methamphetamines are derivatives of amphetamines which has similar mechanism of action and comparable physiological, pharmacological and pharmacodynamic properties. They are therapeutically effective as anti depressants. It acts on the neuronal junctions and increase the concentration of the neurotransmitters mainly dopamine at the synapses.
It produces an elevation of the food and allays fatigue. It can be injected or smoked or sniffed or taken orally. In cases of injection, the drug reaches blood immediately and if smoked or sniffed, the drug reaches almost immediately but slower than intravenous ingestion, because in the smoked or sniffed form, the drug has to be absorbed through the mucous membranes whereas there is no barrier in the case of intravenous injection.
The toxicity of methamphetamines is mainly due to its ability to block the reuptake of nor-epinephrine at the synapses, resulting in both atrial and ventricular disturbances. Chronic poisoning is seen in cases of long term consumption of the drug. It is manifested as stereotyped, compulsive behavior, paranoid personality, delusions (usually persecutions), hallucinations (visual and tactile), cardiomyopathy and intracranial hemorrhage.
After exerting its action at the synapses, the drug reaches the liver where it is metabolized based on its capacity as well as genetic make up of the enzyme systems. It is this genetic difference that brings about the differences in the metabolism of the drug and the appearance of drug in urine. After metabolism, the drug is excreted in urine which can be effectively utilized for detection and drug testing.
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