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N-methylamphetamine (also known as methamphetamine or meth) is a potent central nervous system stimulant discovered in 1893 by Japanese chemist Nagai Nagayoshi. Meth generally refers to a racemic mixture of L-methamphetamine and D-methamphetamine. Both component drugs and the mixture are DEA Schedule II controlled substances, approved for limited prescriptions for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and weight loss, but are rarely prescribed in favor of safer drugs with similar efficacy. Meth is primarily used recreationally as a mood enhancer and aphrodisiac.

As with other stimulants, effects of methamphetamine at low doses include increased energy, alertness, and mood, and sexual desire along with diminished appetite. Higher doses can lead to psychosis, rhabdomyolysis, and cerebral hemorrhaging. Psychological effects of high-dose or prolonged use of meth include euphoria, dysphoria, anxiety, paranoia, aggression, and obsessive behaviors. 

Methamphetamine functions by triggering a cascading release of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin in the central nervous system and is neurotoxic to both dopaminergic and serotonergic neurons. It has high degrees of both addiction liability and dependence liability. Tolerance to the drug develops quickly and withdrawal symptoms—including anxiety, depression, fatigue, agitation, dysphoria, increased appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia, and intense dreams—develop in proportion to tolerance.

In the United States, methamphetamine overdose death rates have been rising steadily since 2008 with a five-fold increase over the last decade. However, overdose deaths do not show the whole picture, as long-term use of meth can lead to methamphetamine use disorder which can result in deaths not recognized as overdose deaths. An evaluation of urine drug tests from across the United States revealed an increase from 7.2% to 8.4% meth positivity from 2018 to 2019 and a six-fold increase in meth-positive tests since 2013. 

At present, there are no pharmacotherapeutic treatments available to quell methamphetamine addiction. The most effective treatments have been combinations of community support and contingency management behavioral therapies. Regular testing by supportive community, family, and counseling centers also aids in methamphetamine addiction recovery. 

Pyxis Laboratories manufactures and distributes components for these tests, including Methamphetamine-BSA antigen conjugates and Methamphetamine Monoclonal Antibodies as well as antigen conjugates and antibodies for other amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabinoids, cocaine, ketamine, PCP, opioids, and others. For a complete catalog of Pyxis products or if you have any questions, please contact us: