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In this VETgirl CE veterinary online blog, we review the toxicity of amphetamines in dogs and cats. Amphetamines are used for various illicit and medical reasons. Legal forms include prescription drugs for attention-deficit / attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD / ADHD), weight loss, and narcolepsy. Examples include dextroamphetamine and amphetamine ( Adderall ® ), D-amphetamine (Dexedrine ® ), methamphetamine (Desoxyn ® ) and lisdexamfetamine ( Vyvanse ® ) *. Illegal forms of amphetamines include illicit drugs such as methamphetamine, methamphetamine, and ecstasy. This class of drugs acts as sympathomimetic agents, which means that they stimulate the sympathetic system. Amphetamines also stimulate α and β adrenergic receptors and stimulate the release of serotonin and norepinephrine; this results in increased stimulation of catecholamines at the synapse. Amphetamines also increase the release of serotonin from the presynaptic membrane, resulting in serotonin syndrome.
With amphetamine toxicosis, secondary stimulation of certain body systems can result in significant clinical signs: CNS (eg, agitation, mydriasis, tremors, seizures), cardiovascular (eg, tachycardia, hypertension), GI (p Eg, vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation), and respiratory (eg, gasping). Both the clinical signs and the treatment of amphetamine toxicosis are similar to those of SSRI toxicosis.
Treatment includes decontamination (ideally performed by a veterinarian, due to rapid onset of clinical signs), activated charcoal, hospitalization for sedation (eg, with acepromazine or chlorpromazine), thermoregulation, intravenous (IV) fluid therapy, blood pressure, and electrocardiogram (ECG). ) monitoring, muscle relaxants (for tremors; methocarbamol 22-55 mg / kg, IV), anticonvulsants (eg, phenobarbital 4-16 mg / kg, IV), serotonin antagonists [p. eg, cyproheptadine (1.1 mg/kg for dogs or 2-4 mg total per cat) orally or rectally q. TID-QID] and supportive and symptomatic care.
When in doubt, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center should be consulted for life-saving advice as needed. Fortunately, with aggressive treatment, most veterinary patients respond well to amphetamine treatment.
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