OBJECTIVE To establish a method for detecting methamphetamine (MA) and amphetamine (AMP) with high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). METHODS Both MA and AMP were isolated on a C18 column and methanol-phosphate buffer (0.015 mol/L NaH2PO4) at a flow rate of 1.0 mL/min. The 190-360 nm ultraviolet spectrum was examined, with 215 nm as the detection wavelength. RESULTS The MA and AMP were well isolated and determined. The MA determined by the HPLC had good linearity with the real value at the range from 1.4 to 270 microg/mL (R2=1), with an average recovery rate of 102.5%. The detectable Limit was 0.73 microg/mL (S/N > or =3). The AMP determined by the HPLC had a good linearity with the real value at the range from 0.9 to 580 microg/mL (R2 = 0.9999), with an average recovery rate of 101.7%. The detectable limit was 0.52 microg/mL (S/N > or =3). Both intra-day and inter-day precisions expressed by relative standard deviations of the MA and AMP were less than 2.4%. CONCLUSION This is a simple, rapid and accurate method for detecting methamphetamine and amphetamine.