People who are taking amphetamines should not stop taking these drugs suddenly. The dose should be lowered gradually and then discontinued. Amphetamines should only be used while under the supervision of a physician. People should generally take the drug early in the day so that it does not interfere with sleep at night. Hazardous activities should be avoided until the person's condition has been stabilized with medication. The effects of amphetamine can last up to 20 hours after the medication has last been taken. Amphetamine therapy given to women for medical reasons does not present a significant risk to the developing fetus for congenital disorders. In such cases, there may be mild withdrawal in the newborn. However, illicit use of amphetamines for non-medical reasons presents a significant risk to the fetus and the newborn because of uncontrolled doses.
Amphetamines are highly addictive and should be used only if alternative approaches have failed. They should be used with great caution in children under three years of age, anyone with a history of slightly elevated blood pressure, people with neurological tics, and in individuals with Tourette's syndrome. Amphetamines should not be taken by individuals with a history of an overac-tive thyroid, those with moderate-to-severe high blood pressure, those with the eye disease called glaucoma, those who have severe arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), or anyone with psychotic symptoms (hallucinations and delusions). Individuals with a history of drug abuse, psychological agitation, or cardiovascular system disease should also not receive amphetamine therapy. In addition, patients who have taken MAO inhibitors, a type of antidepressant, within the last 14 days should not receive amphetamines. MAO inhibitors include phenelzine (Nardil), and tranylcypromine (Parnate).
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