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Captagon (aka Phenethylin) are amphetamine pills. Formerly, they were used as a drug in the treatment of ADHD, depression and narcolepsy, but they were found to be very addictive drugs that can have serious side effects, and their use was banned. How does captagon work? How to recognize the symptoms of taking? What side effects can it cause?

Captagonisdrugbelongs to the group of psychostimulants (stimulants). The main group of psychostimulants are amphetamines - phenylethylamine derivatives, which include i.a. amphetamine, methamphetamine, ephedrine andphenethylinwith the trade name captagon. This drug was first produced in 1960 to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children (ADHD), narcolepsy and depression. However, twenty years later, captagon was discovered to cause severe psychological dependence on prolonged use and was banned from being used as a medicine. However, it is still used as a drug to this day. Currently, captagon tablets are manufactured in Syria and can be purchased throughout the Middle East. It is suspected that they are used by, inter alia, Islamic State fighters to increase the body's efficiency in combat.

Captagon - what does it look like?

Capatagon comes in the form of white tablets that can be swallowed or dissolved in a drink.

Captagon - action

Captagon, like other amphetamines, has a stimulating effect on mental activities:

People who take a captagon need no sleep, no food and are full of energy.

  • tolerates the feeling of tiredness and sleepiness
  • increases the ability to concentrate
  • increases wakefulness
  • often causes a state of euphoria
  • inhibits the feeling of hunger, incl. by stimulating the satiety center in the hypothalamus

For this reason, captagon, as well as other amphetamines, can be used by schoolchildren and students before important exams, as well as by military personnel before important missions. It is worth knowing that amphetamines - in the form of a drug known in the USA as dexedrine - are used by American pilots, but only for more demanding missions.

Captagon - how to recognize the symptoms of taking?

The person who took the captagon shows:

  • strong psychomotor agitation
  • euphoria
  • anorexia
  • dilated pupils
  • increased pressure
  • quick breath
  • increased urine output

Captagon - side effects

The use of captagon, like other agents from the amphetamines group, may lead to disorders of the cardiovascular system - heart rhythm disturbances and coronary pain. Overdosing on captagon can lead to a collapse.


Amphetamine psychosis - one of the most serious complications of captagon use

The effect of captagon use may be amphetamine psychosis, which may manifest itself in sensory hallucinations and paraesthesia (acute form) or auditory hallucinations and persecutory delusions (chronic form).

Captagon - withdrawal symptoms

Symptoms of withdrawal of captagon are mainly:

Captagon causes a strong psychological addiction with prolonged use.

  • feeling hungry
  • fatigue
  • inner anxiety
  • sleep disturbance
  • aggression
  • anxiety
  • motor compulsions

References: Janiec W, Cegieła U., Pytlik M., Psychodysleptic agents and psychostimulants. Nootropic and procognitive drugs [in:] Compendium of pharmacology, Warsaw 2014

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