Objective: l-Methamphetamine (the non-abused isomer of methamphetamine) is banned in athletic competition because it may improve athletic performance but there are no studies assessing its effects on performance. In the United States l-methamphetamine is formulated in the non-prescription Vick's Vapor Inhaler (VVI) nasal decongestant. VVIs sold elsewhere (we used ones from the UK) contain similar inactive ingredients (menthol, camphor and Siberian pine oil) but no l-methamphetamine. This study tested the effects of inhaled of l-methamphetamine delivered from a widely available non-prescription product on athletic performance.
Design: In a 2-session double-blind placebo-controlled study 12 participants (ages 14-17) were dosed with 4 (session 1) and 12 (session 2) inhalations from VVIs with (US) or without (UK) l-methamphetamine and then performed two 20-minute rides on a stationary bike with rides separated by a 30 minute rest.
Outcome Measure: The main outcome measure was miles traveled during each 20-minute ride. Secondary outcome measures included post ride urine toxicology, heart rate and blood pressure before, 1, 5 and 10 minutes post rides and energy, performance, endurance, and ability to breath and VVI preference. Data were analyzed using Excel statistical macros.
Results: Results: After ~16 µg l-methamphetamine miles traveled was 5.26±0.53 miles vs. 5.30±0.55 with placebo; p=0.81. After ~48 µg l-methamphetamine miles traveled was 5.30±0.51 vs. 5.35±0.43 with placebo; p= 0.85. The ~16 µg dose increased systolic blood pressure from 72.6±4.3 to 79.6±6.6 mmHg (p=0.03) at 5 minutes post ride but there were no other differences in outcomes.
Conclusions: Modest doses of inhaled l-methamphetamine probably do not improve athletic performance but do minimally raise diastolic blood pressure.
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