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This book, which covers Visions and hallucinations, explains what causes them and summarises how many hallucinations have been caused by each event or activity. It also provides specific help with questions people have asked us, such as ‘Is my medication giving me hallucinations?’.

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Observations placeholder

Amphetamine & Dextroamphetamine [including Dexedrine, Adderall and Vyvanse]



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 1


Note that this drug goes under numerous trade names, many of which are changing all the time, when used as a treatment for the ilnesses and conditions shown below.

The number of hallucinations from the eHealthme web site.  Note that the site is very confusing on this drug, because the drug companies make it so.

A description of the experience

Amphetamine  - abbreviated from alpha-methylphenethylamine, or amfetamine produces “increased wakefulness and focus in association with decreased fatigue and appetite”. The drug is also used recreationally and as a 'performance enhancer'. Recreational users of amphetamine have coined numerous street names for amphetamine, such as "speed".

Amphetamine's other names include Dextroamphetamine and Levoamphetamine.  According to Wikipedia "Amphetamine is the standard against which all other stimulants are measured".

When sold as a pharmaceutical it may be sold under numerous trade names Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine - separate observation) , Dexedrine Speed; Dex;  Dexamphetamine; Vyvanse [also separate observation] and  Adderall [see separate observation]

Adderall is composed of racemic amphetamine, aspartate monohydrate, racemic amphetamine sulfate, dextroamphetamine saccharide, and dextroamphetamine sulfate.

The Physician's Drug Handbook states that the side effects of an ‘over dose’ of Dextroamphetamine for example are:

" tremor, hyperreflexia, confusion, aggressiveness, hallucinations, and panic. Dilated pupils are common with high doses”.

An ‘extreme symptom’ of overdose is ‘amphetamine psychosis’ [their words] characterised by

vivid visual, auditory, and sometimes tactile hallucinations”.

Many of its symptoms are identical to those of long-term sleep deprivation, so it remains unclear whether these are solely the effects of the drug, or due to the long periods of sleep deprivation which are often the result of use of the drugs. It may be helpful to read the section on sleep deprivation to understand the link between the two. These products are often used to help those who deliberately want to deprive themselves of sleep.

Amphetamine psychosis’ as the doctor’s call it , however, is allegedly “rare in individuals taking oral amphetamines for medicinal purposes; it is usually seen in cases of prolonged or high-dose intravenous (IV) use”. As you can see, however, it has caused quite a number of involuntary hallucinations so the doctors are not right in this at all.

EROWID's information and case histories are a useful adjunct to the medical reports,

 Most common Dextroamphetamine sulfate side effects

  • Drug ineffective - (7 reports)
  • Nausea - (5 reports)
  • Paraesthesia - (5 reports)
  • Depression - (4 reports)
  • Feeling abnormal - (4 reports)
  • Withdrawal syndrome - (4 reports)
  • Disturbance in attention - (4 reports)
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome - (4 reports)
  • Suicidal ideation - (4 reports)
  • Malaise - (4 reports)


J Nerv Ment Dis. 1983 Apr;171(4):222-33.

Apparent hallucinations in monkeys during around-the-clock amphetamine for seven to fourteen days. Possible relevance to amphetamine psychosis.

Nielsen EB, Lyon M, Ellison G.


Schizophrenia-like symptoms have been experimentally produced in humans by a single, large dose of amphetamine or by relatively low level, but continuous administration of the drug.

In animal studies of the psychotomimetic properties of amphetamine, high doses and, in particular, repeated daily-injection drug schedules have often been used. However, amphetamine psychosis is not always a prominent effect of repeated intake drug schedules in humans and available clinical evidence suggests that psychosis develops more readily when the drug is taken in a continuous fashion over longer periods.

The state produced by single large doses of amphetamine, although clearly abnormal, has been said to bear less resemblance to schizophrenia than the delayed paranoid symptoms developing after longer periods of continuous intake.

In the present experiments we have studied the behavioral effects of 7 to 14 days of continuous administration of amphetamine to monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) using subcutaneously implanted silicone capsules releasing approximately .7 to 1.5 mg/kg/day of d-amphetamine base. Around-the-clock TV monitoring of the animals revealed a general biphasic sequence of drug effects, although considerable individual variation occurred:

a) an "acute" phase dominated by stereotyped movements and/or prolonged staring, lasting for 2 to 5 days;
b) a "late" phase peaking during days 5 to 10 after capsule implantation and characterized by highly individual, but striking sequences of:

(1) Attack or sudden threat reactions directed at invisible objects;
(2) rapid orienting and flight behavior without apparent cause;
(3) sudden startle reactions;
(4) prolonged vocalization;
(5) visual tracking of invisible objects, sometimes involving coordinated patterns of "eating behavior" and
(6) prolonged and rapid grooming directed at various parts of the body.

These behaviors might be termed "hallucinatory" since no eliciting stimuli could be determined for their occurrence. Motor disturbances, including whole-body shakes, were often present at the same time.

The animals were generally sleepless throughout the drug treatment period.

Reimplantation of amphetamine capsules 2 to 8 months after the first capsule treatment produced the same effects in an individual-specific manner, but the "late phase" behaviors generally appeared sooner. The delayed occurrence of apparent hallucinatory behaviors and other abnormal "late" phase behaviors in the present experiment may be a close parallel to the delayed development of psychosis in humans induced by a similar drug regimen. Furthermore, the hallucinogenic nature of the late amphetamine state is consonant with other reports in the literature that hallucinogen-characteristic behaviors are present at this time.

PMID: 6834023



The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps