Benzedrine inhaler

Benzedrine is the trade name of the racemic mixture of amphetamine (dl-amphetamine). It was marketed under this brandname in the USA by Smith, Kline & French in the form of inhalers, starting in 1928.[citation needed] Benzedrine was used to enlarge nasal and bronchial passages and it is closely related to other stimulants produced later, such as dextroamphetamine (d-amphetamine) and methamphetamine. Benzedrine should not be confused with the fundamentally different substance benzphetamine.


While the drug was initially used for medical purposes, as a bronchodilator, early users of the Benzedrine inhaler discovered that it had a euphoric stimulant effect, resulting in its being one of the earliest synthetic stimulants to be widely used for recreational (i.e., non-medical) purposes. Even though this drug was intended for inhalation, some people used Benzedrine recreationally by cracking the container open and swallowing the paper strip inside, which was covered in Benzedrine. The strips were often rolled into small balls and swallowed, or taken with coffee or alcohol. The drug was often referred to as "bennies" by users and in literature. Because of the stimulant side effect, physicians discovered that amphetamine could also be used to treat narcolepsy. This led to the production of Benzedrine in tablet form. Benzedrine was also used by doctors to perk up lethargic patients before breakfast.[1]

In 1937, the effects of Benzedrine, and thus stimulant use, was studied in children with behavior and neurological disorders.[2]

In the 1940s and 1950s, reports began to emerge about the recreational use of Benzedrine inhalers, and in 1949, doctors began to move away from prescribing Benzedrine as a bronchodilator and appetite suppressant. In 1959, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made it a prescription drug. Benzedrine and derived amphetamines were used as a stimulant for armed forces in World War II and Vietnam. When Benzedrine became a controlled substance, it was replaced by propylhexedrine (also known as hexahydromethamphetamine). Propylhexedrine was also manufactured by Smith, Kline and French and was marketed under the name Benzedrex. The Benzedrex inhaler is still available today, but is no longer manufactured by Smith, Kline and French (currently GlaxoSmithKline).

See also


  1. ^ Cullen, Pamela V. A Stranger in Blood: The Case Files on Dr John Bodkin Adams, London, Elliott & Thompson, 2006, ISBN 1-904027-19-9. Suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams was using it thus in the 1950s.
  2. ^ Bradley, Charles (November 1937). "THE BEHAVIOR OF CHILDREN RECEIVING BENZEDRINE". American Psychiatric Association: 577–585. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.94.3.577. 

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  • benzédrine — [ bɛ̃zedrin ] n. f. • 1942; nom déposé, de benz(o) et (éph)édrine ♦ Méd. Amphétamine agissant comme stimulant du système nerveux central et sympathique. benzédrine [bɛ̃zedʀin] n. f. ÉTYM. 1942; n. déposé (Smith, Kline …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Benzedrine™ — [Benzedrine] noun [U](also infml benny [U, C]) …   Useful english dictionary

  • Benzedrine — trade name of a type of amphetamine, 1933, registered as a proprietary name 1935 by Smith, Kline & French Laboratories, from benzoic (see BENZENE (Cf. benzene)) + chemical suffix edrine from EPHEDRINE (Cf. ephedrine), etc. It is a carbonate of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Benzedrine — ☆ Benzedrine [ben′zə drēn΄ ] [ BENZ(O) + (EPH)EDRINE] trademark for AMPHETAMINE n. [b ] this drug …   English World dictionary

  • Benzedrine® — /benˈzi drēn/ noun A tradename for amphetamine …   Useful english dictionary

  • Benzedrine — Strukturformel Allgemeines Freiname Amphetamin Andere Namen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Benzedrine — Amphétamine Pour les articles homonymes, voir Amphétamine (homonymie). Amphétamine …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Benzédrine — Amphétamine Pour les articles homonymes, voir Amphétamine (homonymie). Amphétamine …   Wikipédia en Français

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