View Full Version : Are amphetamines an amine in our body that we produce naturally?


BrainFreeze
10-31-15, 07:46 PM
Hi all

I read an article on Concerta the other day (my son has just been boosted to 36mg). I had to wrap my head around this larger dosage. The article was a break down of the compounds in Concerta and stated that our bodies naturally make amphetamines (an amine). Would it be safe to say that people without ADHD have enough of this amine in their body to not have gaps in their receptors, and that people with ADHD have the gaps due to having a lack of the amine and that the meds mimic this amine to fill the gaps? Is this too generalised? Is it for only certain types of people? Or is this all wrong what I am saying? :lol:

TangledWebs
10-31-15, 08:15 PM
Yes, Concerta increases the dopamine levels in the brain. People with ADHD have abnormalities in dopamine transmission as well structural differences in the brain.

namazu
10-31-15, 08:42 PM
Amphetamine isn't something our body produces naturally, as far as I can figure out. Our bodies, do, however, produce some very closely-related compounds.

In terms of describing ADHD in terms of amine production / levels, things get complicated. (There are a couple of threads on dopamine -- a neurotransmitter that transmits messages between cells -- that go into more detail.)

Dopamine does appear to play a very important role in ADHD -- but the role is probably more complex than just "people with ADHD don't have enough" or "people with ADHD have gaps in receptors".

As you noted, the density of receptors is involved, transporters are involved, and neurotransmitters themselves are involved. And the quantity of each of these in different parts of the brain is important. And how other neurotransmitter systems are involved, and how the brain is shaped/sized -- these probably also play into things.

There are a lot of interrelated variables here.

Each of the different types of meds used for ADHD affects these systems in its own way, by changing levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine or norepinephrine, by changing how long these neurotransmitters stick around in the synapses (space between brain cells), and so on.

Methylphenidate (the medication in Concerta) works a little differently from Adderall (which is a mixture of amphetamine salts). I don't know all the details, but per Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methylphenidate):
Methylphenidate acts by blocking the dopamine transporter and norepinephrine transporter, leading to increased concentrations of dopamine and norepinephrine within the synaptic cleft. This effect in turn leads to increased neurotransmission of dopamine and norepinephrine. Methylphenidate is also a 5HT1A receptor agonist.
The best medication for an individual, and the best dose of that medication, depend on all those moving parts above. In addition, because there are some steps needed to get the medication to the brain, other factors influence how well medications work, most effective doses, and occurrence of side effects. Some of these other factors my include rate of digestion and metabolism.

I hope I've illustrated how complex this all is -- without making it too much more confusing than it already was!

But this complexity helps explain why there can be a lot of trial and error involved in starting meds. It's why it's impossible (at least, at this point) to predict what the best medication and optimal dose would be, based only on a kid's weight or the severity of his ADHD.

All that aside, I hope this new dose of Concerta will work well for your son, and I wish you the best!

BrainFreeze
10-31-15, 08:56 PM
wow...great info thank you :) I was also reading about the differences between methylphenidate and dexamphetamine. It sounded like Dexamphetamine was a lot stronger and I wondered if this was the cause of the huge stigma that 'kids are being fed speed'. I have no problems with meds for ADHD and I am really confused by society's reaction to children having to take meds to help their ADHD. I was trying to understand where the stigma came from and the disgust. I recently went to the US and in California - I went to the Psychiatry Museum and didn't realise it was a Human Rights non-org. The stuff they had in their museum about the 'conspiracy' of big pharma and horrible pics of kids who have had meds was so overwhelming. I had to get the hell out of there!! it didn't change my mind, but made me sad at the misinformation. I wanted to understand the meds breakdown and bioprofile.

Shelsi
11-01-15, 08:51 AM
But this complexity helps explain why there can be a lot of trial and error involved in starting meds. It's why it's impossible (at least, at this point) to predict what the best medication and optimal dose would be, based only on a kid's weight or the severity of his ADHD.

All that aside, I hope this new dose of Concerta will work well for your son, and I wish you the best!

To add personal anecdote to this, my 11 yr old son was on 54 mg of Concerta which worked fairly well for him but he lost 15 lbs in 6 months and he was already a stick to begin with. So we switched to a 50 mg extended release in hopes that since it would wear off quicker than the Concerta he would eat in the evenings and that perhaps in the "valley" between the releases he would have an appetite. Not only is he eating more now but wow, this med works soooo much better for him overall! So while we thought the Concerta worked pretty well, we didn't realize there was another med that would work even better.

As for the stigma of kids on ADHD meds I think it's not so much the meds themselves but the fact that ADHD is seen as something that is over-diagnosed which means perfectly healthy kids on meds they shouldn't be. That makes people angry (as it should). It's the idea that the kids "are just being kids" and of course kids can't sit still we don't need to give them drugs to turn them into zombies! But I think if any of these people were around a child with ADHD for any length of time they would see it for themselves how it's not just a kid "being a kid" or not having enough discipline.

aeon
11-01-15, 12:59 PM
I have no problems with meds for ADHD and I am really confused by
society's reaction to children having to take meds to help their ADHD.
I was trying to understand where the stigma came from and the disgust.


Children are seen as precious, and rightfully so, so anything which could be
harmful to, or disrespectful of, that precious nature is necessarily treated with
care at the least, but also, for some, suspicion, antipathy, and hostility.



They are seen as a social ill from many perspectives, e.g., War on Drugs,
Big Pharma, conspiracies of control, and so on, and are tarnished by association
with illicit drugs of abuse with similar and like chemistry, as well as unrelated
drugs that caused tragedies, which trigger fears by association.



Many treat psychiatry as quackery and psychiatrists as charlatans.



There are cultural ideals regarding, for example, self-determination, interference
from systems of power interfering with personal liberty, and a narrowly-defined
idea of pleasure that is morally acceptable, as influenced by systems of religion
and law, just to name a few.*



Many have had bad experiences from drugs, or been told of bad experiences
from them, or experienced the loss of a loved one who was taking many drugs
before they died, and so many have a sense that pills = bad.



We fear that which we do not understand or know for ourselves. Meds as an
example, and extending to all of medicine and science.

There are surely many other reasons.


Cheers,
Ian


* Country was established by self-made-men, there is no such thing as a free lunch
or shortcut to that which is real and of worth, no one has authority to tell another
how to rear their children, pleasure outside of that narrow view is treated as vice
and to varying degrees, worthy of punitive reprisal, getting “high” being a relevant
and simple example of something outside that narrow view. Just to clarify and give
some examples...

BrainFreeze
11-01-15, 05:53 PM
We fear that which we do not understand or know for ourselves. Meds as an
example, and extending to all of medicine and science.

This is a big part of the problem. I wouldn't have understood if I hadn't of been on this journey with my son for the past 6 years. Doing everything holistic before meds trial at the end. The lack of education around adhd is terrible. In Australia, Autism is finally recognised and funded, but adhd is still waiting in the wings.