During the 1950s and 1960s, amphetamines were commonly prescribed for conditions such as fatigue, obesity, and mild depression. Such use has ceased as the drugs have a high potential for addiction, and are now categorized as controlled substances.

Over-the-counter (OTC) amphetamine look-alike drugs are often abused. These drugs typically contain caffeine and other stimulant ingredients, and are marketed as appetite suppressants or stay-awake/stay-alert aids.

If taken in high doses, these OTC drugs may cause the same high and other effects associated with amphetamines. Regular users may exhibit irritability, restlessness, sleep disturbances, tremors, dilated pupils, skin flushing, and weight loss over time.