Benzedrine Review

What a history benzedrine has:

  • songs (Elton John’s Bennie and the Jets)
  • stories (Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar)
  • poems (Allen Ginsberg’s Howl)
  • movies (All About Eve)
  • books (like Ian Fleming’s James Bond stories; Bond was a benzedrine fan)

Scores more have prominently featured the drug, its use, abuse, and effects.

Benzedrine—the trade name for amphetamine sulfate—has been a part of both the American popular and health culture since the turn of the 20th century; the latter where it was first used as a breathing treatment. It was used extensively by soldiers during both the First and Second World Wars. Despite then being a bronchial treatment, it was also widely used and abused, culminating in an underground drug culture that began to cook its own version—methamphetamine, known on the street as speed.

In 1959, the U.S. made benzedrine a prescription-only drug. And although in 1976 the FDA approved it as a weight-loss drug for maker Smith Kline & French (which would later become global giant Glaxxo Smith-Kline), it did so based on the printed label which made it absolutely clear that amphetamine had a “high potential for abuse.”  A powerful anorectic (appetite suppressant) along with everything else, it was prescribed as a weight-loss drug for obesity when “all other therapies have been ineffective.” The intended use is obesity was for a “few weeks,” as the 1976 label reads. [1]

Basically, beginning in the mid-1970s overweight people could simply tell their doctors nothing else had helped, and be prescribed speed.

Then as now, amphetamine sulfate under a different trade name—Adderall—was also used to treat what was then called Minimal Brain Dysfunction in children; what we now know as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The drug was and is used to help young people who had short attention spans, were easily distracted, were often hyperactive, had excessiveemotional reactions and frequent mood changes, and tended toward impulsivity.

Also in the 1970s, the federal government listed it as a controlled substance, because of abuse potential and the voluminous and horrifying list of adverse effects of speed addiction: [2]

  • aggression
  • manic and dangerous behaviors
  • homicidal and suicidal tendencies
  • the tons of physical effects from extreme weight loss
  • abnormal speech and body movements
  • tooth decay and loss
  • a body riddled with lesions
  • and many more.

In 2006, Smith Kline discontinued making the drug for weight-loss purposes, though amphetamine sulfate is still the main ingredient in ADD drugs and benzedrine-like medications for bronchial conditions—though all forms are behind the pharmacy counter now.

So what’s the so-called benzedrine being sold today on the market as a weight loss supplement?

Benzedrine Claims

The original plan by the drug maker was Benzedrine would be used in the very short term—less than a month, in fact—in the treatment of obesity, along with an appropriate diet and exercise regimen.

Today, good luck finding it. On site after site, which inexplicably still exist, a benzedrine “supplement” is featured with all the dangerously inaccurate claims—and in most cases, it’s marked as “discontinued.”

Like Hi-Tech Benzedrine, which claimed it pioneered a “new generation of fat loss and energy boost supplementation for anorectic and stimulant action never before thought possible in a diet aid” with a proprietary formula called the “Hi-Tech Neurotransmitter Trifecta,” which creates an interaction between dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin—or what they refer to as “an unrivaled anorectic supplement with stimulant action to the max.” [3]

This product contains only the very best stimulants that Hi-Tech has incorporated within its previously introduced energy boost formulations. Hi-Tech, however, goes one step beyond by also infusing Benzedrine™ with a full, expanded spectrum of the most powerful phenylethylamine alkaloids found in Hi-Tech’s proprietary Acacia rigidula. Clearly it is now the ringleader of an entirely new generation of fat loss and energy enhancement supplementation and is undeniably the strongest diet aid available without a prescription. [3]

They say benzedrine works much like the recalled Phen-Fen, only without the noted heart valve damage that doomed Phen-Fen to the wastebin.

And that Acacia rigidula? The synthetic version is BMPEA, and it’s that version which hides in a lot of weight-loss products—including Hi-Tech’s. It’s another stimulant, much like the already banned ephedrine. And while the FDA hasn’t actually banned BMPEA, simply because there haven’t been enough reports yet of serious medical issues like the Phen-Fen scandal, both the FDA and numerous researchers are warning against it. That Hi-Tech wants to combine speed with another stimulant and sell it to you is just terrifying on all levels. [5]

Note: Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, for all its hype-y marketing, is just as well known for the endless number of FDA warnings and legal action taken against them as they are for their supplements. Ephedra, DMAA, benzedrine…the list goes on. Their CEO has been in jail for at least a quarter of the time the company has been in business, because they continually ignore FDA warnings and orders to pull dangerous products from the shelves. [6] [7]

The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind Benzedrine

If you can find a drug that’s been more thoroughly researched than benzedrine (amphetamine), let me know, because the studies I’ve pursued in writing this review are seemingly without end. This is quite simply put, a deadly drug that—unless used precisely as directed for ADD or ADHD, and in some cases narcolepsy—you should stay as far away from as possible. [8]

There is little doubt that benzedrine is addictive, and that fact was pointed in scientific journals as early as 1942.

Methamphetamine addiction is a significant public health problem for which no Food and Drug Administration-approved pharmacotherapies exist. [8]

Even the most desperate of us to lose weight should seriously consider the risk versus reward with benzedrine. No amount of good effects beginning in the 1920s could mitigate the devastating side effects.

A fascinating study published in 2008 in the American Journal of Public Health, which documents the history of benzedrine addiction beginning in 1925, makes it abundantly clear that there have been a number of epidemic crises with benzedrine (amphetamine) addiction over the past near-century. Despite ads in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s touting how beneficial benzedrine was alleged to have been for alertness and weight loss—even to treat depression—the fact is, the body builds up a tolerance, and the user needs more and more to achieve the original “high.” [9]

According to usage surveys, during 2004, some 3 million Americans consumed amphetamine-type stimulants of all kinds non-medically …(with) 250,000 to 350,000 of them were addicted. [9]

Without direct access to amphetamine, illegally manufactured methamphetamine is to blame for the current speed epidemic. Plus, it appears,

…the United States has seen a surge in the legal supply and use of amphetamine-type attention deficit medications, such as Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Adderall (amphetamine). American physicians, much more than those in other countries, apparently are again finding it difficult to resist prescribing stimulants that patients and parents consider necessary, or at least helpful, in their struggle with everyday duties. [9] (emphasis added)

Ugh.

In addition to the potential for dependency, the list of side effects are frankly terrifying. It’s hard to understand how a reasonable person could be educated about benzedrine (amphetamine) and still end up seeking out it or its evil methamphetamine cousin.

Word on the Street About Benzedrine

Yet one cannot purchase this product on the NetNutri.com site. A recent reviewer, “Lindsey Michelle Susdorf” (2017 Jan, 5 stars) said, “When this changes to in stock I will be purchasing instead of filling my adderall prescription.” [10]

Interesting. And slightly frightening. We were able to find “adderall” or similar amphetamine-related drugs similar to benzedrine on websites which appear to out of the country. For example, one sells a 30 milligram for $5 each.

Smartbodyz.com, which was a large seller of benzedrine, also says the product in not currently available. They “apologize … we no longer sell these products.  Consider searching” eBay or other sellers they say. The precursor, Fastin, is also no longer available. [9]

That they even tell you to go check on eBay…

I chatted with Miquel from NetNutri, who said that the benzedrine drug maker stopped production: “The manufacturer did. We don't get a reason as to why. It has been discontinued. The manufacturer does that. Once a product is discontinued, it cannot be found nor bought.”

So only whatever any distributor has left in stock is it—unless they, too, showed some sense and destroyed their stocks. Except I finally was able to locate the Hi-Tech benzedrine brand on a U.S.-based supplement site based in Ohio.

A Yahoo user said succinctly that using benzedrine (amphetamine) is a very bad idea.

Amphetamines have been extensively abused. Tolerance, extreme psychological dependence, and severe social disability have occurred. There are reports of patients who have increased the dosage to many times that recommended.  Abrupt cessation following prolonged high dosage administration results in extreme fatigue and mental depression; changes are also noted on the sleep EEG.  Manifestations of chronic intoxication with amphetamines include severe dermatoses, marked insomnia, irritability, hyperactivity, and personality changes. The most severe manifestation of chronic intoxication is psychosis, often clinically indistinguishable from schizophrenia. [12]

It’s bad stuff.

The Bottom Line: Is Benzedrine Worth a Try?

Definitely, DEFINITELY, not. Steer clear of this amphetamine. It’s dangerous, deadly even, and with very high risk of dependency. Do not seek it out. It’s not worth it. And please don't use ADD or ADHD medications as an end-run around the law to get this drug.

It’s. Not. Worth. It. Join a gym.

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