Qazvin's University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran.
Background and Aims: Methamphetamine abuse results in numerous adverse health effects. Formation of free radicals may be a contributing factor. Methamphetamine has produced free radicals in animal studies. Present study was conducted to evaluate status of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation among chronic methamphetamine users.
Methods: Ninety six individuals were selected randomly from methamphetamine abusers who had referred to rehabilitation and treatment center for drug abuse and their closed relatives, after providing informed consent. Blood samples were taken from each of the studied individuals. Ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) assay and serum level of MDA (malondialdehyde) were used to assess the total anti-oxidant power and status of lipid peroxidation of the body, respectively. The results were analyzed by SPSS software version 16.0. Differences among groups were determined by T-test.
Findings: Total anti-oxidant powers of plasma were 0.31±0.04 micromoles/liter and 0.46±0.05 micromoles/liter in methamphetamine abusers and control groups respectively. The difference was statistically significant (p-value=0.04). Levels of MDA were 4.38±5.05 micromoles/liter and 1.72±2.04 micromoles/liter in methamphetamine abusers and control group. The difference was statistically significant (p-value=0.01).
Conclusion: results of present study suggest that prolonged use of methamphetamine exerts oxidative stress on the body and enhances lipid peroxidation. The event may contribute to emergence of adverse effects of acute and prolonged use of methamphetamine; such as loss of attention, psychomotor dysfunction, and cognitive deficits. It is recommended that antioxidants were included in drug regimens prescribed for methamphetamine abusers who referred to physicians to seek medical care for any reason.