Central Nervous System Stimulants

Central nervous system (CNS) stimulants are drugs that exert their action by exciting chemicals in the brain and spinal cord, components of the central nervous system. Stimulation occurs at the brainstem, cortical, and spinal levels, resulting in hyperactivity and impulse control. These drugs enhance increased energy levels and mental alertness while reducing drowsiness and fatigue. How CNS stimulants really work depends on the specific drug used. For instance, cocaine, methamphetamine, and amphetamine all work by heightening intensities of dopamine -- a chemical that excites the brain. Some stimulants do elevate levels of serotonin and norepinephrine chemicals, otherwise known as feel-good chemicals because they yield a feeling of euphoria.

Central Nervous System Stimulants Drugs

CNS stimulants include the following:

  • Benzoylmethylecgonine (Cocaine)
  • Nicotine
  • Caffeine
  • Amphetamine
  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Yaba
  • Methamphetamine (Desoxyn)
  • Pemoline (Cylert)
  • Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)
  • Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (Ecstasy or MDMA)
  • Khat
  • Dimethylamylamine
  • Propylhexedrine (Hexahydromethamphetamine)
  • Phenylpropanolamine
  • Mephedrone
  • Prolintane
  • Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV)

Central Nervous System Stimulants Uses

CNS stimulants are used to treat several indications. They help counterbalance sedative effects of opioids -- high-dose opioids used for long-term treatment like in AIDS or cancer patients. They are also an asset when it comes to terminating smoking. Either, they occasionally are consumed off-label to cure clinical depression that has defied antidepressants. You also want to know these drugs counter fatigue and maintain vigilance in instances of critical operations and extended periods. In addition to treating both orthostatic hypotension and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, CNS stimulants help relieve nasal congestion. And for those with attention disorders like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder -- otherwise known as ADHD -- stimulants help boost concentration and focus. Also, this is the drug-class to embrace if you are obese. It helps promote weight loss and decrease appetite. Not to mention, it will not disappoint when it comes to counteracting fatigue and lethargy while you are working or doing other activities. Last but not least, besides curing narcolepsy and neonatal apnea, CNS stimulants should help keep you awake when necessary; they reduce sleepiness.

Central Nervous System Stimulants Side Effects

Side effects of CNS stimulants vary depending on the specify drug. Generally, short-term use may give rise to heightened anxiety levels, insomnia, depersonalization, increased heartbeat, euphoria feelings, episodes of crying for no reason, hyperventilation, irritability, decreased appetite, depression, panic attacks, restlessness, paranoia, and trembling. Long-term use might cause side effects, too, including dizziness, increased heartbeat, difficulty breathing, and mood swings. It is highly recommended that patients consult their healthcare providers at the onset of any of these indications.

Central Nervous System Stimulants Interactions

CNS stimulants interact with supplements, herbs or drugs that portray stimulating properties. It is because adverse consequences are likely to occur, let alone additive effects. Which is the reason you want to be wary of blood pressure medications, seizure medications, blood thinners, glutamic acid supplements, heart medications, ephedra, betel nuts, evening primrose oil, folic acid, ginseng, taurine, sandalwood and liver extract -- the list is endless. As well illegal and recreational drugs, including alcohol, could only dull your nervous system. Steer clear of those. Note that you should avoid driving or participating in dangerous activities as most CNS stimulants could affect your concentration, judgment and coordination. On the same platter, take CNS stimulants together with appetite suppressants; the combination should not only give additive properties but also adverse effects.

Main Central Nervous System Stimulants Drugs

Adderall Vyvanse Concerta

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