Category Archives: Medications

Smoking & Stimulant Medications

I’m not sure if this applies to any of you, but though I’m not exactly a “consistent” smoker (certainly not a pack a day sort of thing), I typically will smoke occasionally when I’m pulling all nighters or having trouble focusing/stressing out, etc. The few times I’ve tried smoking on days where I don’t take my medication, I usually smoking about half a cigarette before I get nauseous and dizzy and stop smoking for quite a while. BUT, when I do smoke, I find it has far fewer “physical” effects (dizziness, nausea, etc) and far more “pleasurable” effects (reduced anxiety, mild euphoric effects, reinforcing/addictive qualities). Some medications (Adderall, namely) even produce acute nicotine cravings even when I haven’t smoked for days or weeks beforehand. It’s quite odd!

In any case, I found an article that discusses the cross-potentiation effects of nicotine and psychostimulants like methylphendiate (Ritalin) and amphetamine (Adderall, Dexedrine). Well, it primarily focuses on amphetamines, but I imagine the same holds true for Ritalin to at least a small degree. Here are the bullet points:


  • Psychostimulants are often used in close tempo- ral proximity to nicotine and have been reported to enhance acutely nicotine’s desirability in humans.
  • When administered simultaneously, nicotine and amphetamine produced a predominantly additive effect on locomotor behavior.
  • However amphetamine, when given 2– 4 h before nicotine, strongly potentiated nicotine-induced locomotor activity.
  • Correspondingly, nicotine given 1–4 h before amphetamine robustly enhanced amphetamine- stimulated locomotor activity even when the effects of the nicotine pretreatment dissipated.
  • Overall, the present data demonstrate that acute interactions of nicotine and other psychomotor stimulants produce potentiative effects and that these transient inter- actions may play a role in the frequent co-use and abuse of nicotine and other stimulants.

The article itself is a bit technical (sorry!) but the bullet points are pretty clear: nicotine before amphetamine, never been… more stimulated? amphetamine before nicotine… still more stimulated? I came, I tried to rhyme, I failed. I apologize for my poetic shortcomings. Anyway, please leave comments of your experiences on the matter! I’d love to know I’m not alone in my stimulant co-use and abuse, to quote the article (and I suspect I’m not!)!


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