Diagnosis

Although rapid laboratory facilities may be available in some centers, clinical findings are of utmost importance in establishing the diagnosis and assessing its severity. The differential diagnosis of acute amphetamine intoxication is extensive. Organic conditions such as hypertensive crisis, pheochromocytoma, thyrotoxicosis, and withdrawal states, as well as acute psychotic states, may mimic the clinical features of amphetamine toxicity. It may be clinically difficult to distinguish amphetamine toxicity from that due to drugs and chemicals causing similar symptoms (cocaine, anticholinergic agents, hallucinogens, lithium, nicotine, and organic compounds such as camphor, solvents, salicylates, and methylxanthines).

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