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Amphetamines Blood Test

Last updated June 19, 2019

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH


The Amphetamines Blood Test helps detect amphetamines in blood. It is used to identify amphetamine medication abuse and illegal amphetamines use, and aids in suspected amphetamine overdose.

What are other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • Adderall Levels Blood Test
  • Ecstasy Levels Blood Test
  • Ritalin Levels Blood Test

What is Amphetamines Blood Test? (Background Information)

  • Amphetamines are a class of compounds that produce stimulatory effects in the brain. It includes the illegal drugs methamphetamine and MDMA (ecstasy). However, drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin also contain amphetamine
  • Amphetamines increase alertness, energy, and sexual drive. They are prescribed for their ability to counteract attention-deficit disorder (ADD) and other disorders such as narcolepsy
  • Amphetamine medications are abused for their performance and mood-enhancing properties. They are also abused for their abilities to suppress appetite. In high doses, amphetamine medications produce euphoric effects. Illegal drugs such as MDMA are also abused for these reasons
  • Amphetamines stimulate the brain by increasing the levels of stimulatory chemical messengers called neurotransmitters
  • Three chemical messengers in particular - dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin - belong to a class of monoamines. They are released by neurons as part of the “reward response”
  • Amphetamines stimulate the release of monoamine neurotransmitters, producing a “high”. They also prevent the reuptake of monoamines by the monoamine transporter, causing levels to remain high
  • The Amphetamines Blood Test helps detect amphetamines in blood. It is used to identify amphetamine medication abuse and illegal amphetamines use, and aids in suspected amphetamine overdose

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Amphetamines Blood Test?

Following are the clinical indications for performing the Aminoglycosides Blood Test:

  • Erratic behavior
  • Altered mental status
  • Social withdrawal
  • Muscle pain
  • Painful urination
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Trouble breathing

How is the Specimen Collected for Amphetamines Blood Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Amphetamines Blood Test:

Sample required: Blood

Process of obtaining blood sample in adults:

  • A band is wrapped around the arm, 3-4 inches above the collection site (superficial vein that lies within the elbow pit)
  • The site is cleaned with 70% alcohol in an outward spiral, away from the zone of needle insertion
  • The needle cap is removed and is held in line with the vein, pulling the skin tight
  • With a small and quick thrust, the vein is penetrated using the needle
  • The required amount of blood sample is collected by pulling the plunger of the syringe out slowly
  • The wrap band is removed, gauze is placed on the collection site, and the needle is removed
  • The blood is immediately transferred into the blood container, which has the appropriate preservative/clot activator/anti-coagulant
  • The syringe and the needle are disposed into the appropriate “sharp container” for safe and hygienic disposal

Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.

What is the Significance of the Amphetamines Blood Test Result?

  • A positive Amphetamines Blood Test result may indicate amphetamine use or overdose

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

  • Amphetamines are a class of drugs that are very prone to abuse and addition. This is why medications, such as Adderall and Ritalin, are tightly regulated. Amphetamine drugs, such as methamphetamine and MDMA, are scheduled by the US DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration)

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

The following DoveMed website link is a useful resource for additional information:


Please visit our Laboratory Procedures Center for more physician-approved health information:


References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Oct. 31, 2015
Last updated: June 19, 2019