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Difference between Amphetamine and Methylphenidate

Difference between Amphetamine and Methylphenidate

Methylphenidate and amphetamine are two of the most common prescription stimulants used to treat ADHD. Although they share some similarities, there are also some key differences between these two drugs. This article will take a closer look at the differences between amphetamine and methylphenidate, including their side effects and dosage recommendations.

What is Amphetamine?

Amphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant that increases alertness and energy. It can be taken orally, injected, or inhaled. Amphetamine is used to treat narcolepsy, ADHD, and obesity. It is also used as an athletic performance enhancer and cognitive enhancer. Amphetamine has a high potential for abuse and addiction. Long-term use can lead to anxiety, paranoia, and psychosis. Amphetamine is a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States.

What is Methylphenidate?

Methylphenidate is a central nervous system stimulant that is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Methylphenidate increases alertness, concentration, and energy levels. It is believed to work by restoring the balance of certain natural substances in the brain. Methylphenidate is available in tablet, capsule, and extended-release forms.

It is usually taken two or three times a day with or without food. Common side effects include headaches, stomachaches, difficulty sleeping, and increased anxiety. Methylphenidate should not be used in people with certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, hypertension, seizures, or glaucoma. If you have any concerns about using methylphenidate, please consult your healthcare provider.

Difference Between Amphetamine and Methylphenidate

  • Amphetamine and Methylphenidate are both central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. Amphetamine is a stronger CNS stimulant than methylphenidate. They are similar but have different chemical structures and produce slightly different effects on the body. Amphetamine increases the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, while methylphenidate only affects dopamine.
  • These neurotransmitters are responsible for focus, motivation, and pleasure. Amphetamine also has a longer half-life than methylphenidate, so it stays in the body for a longer time. Amphetamine is more likely to be abused because it has more potential for misuse.
  • It is also more likely to cause side effects such as insomnia, anxiety, and irritability. Methylphenidate is less likely to be abused and has fewer side effects. It is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Amphetamines are used to treat ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity.


Although both amphetamine and methylphenidate are stimulants, they have different effects on the body. Methylphenidate is a milder stimulant that is used to treat ADHD, while amphetamine is a more powerful stimulant that is used to treat narcolepsy and obesity. Both drugs can be addictive if abused, so it is important to take them as prescribed by a doctor.

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