Central nervous system (CNS) stimulants, also called psychomotor stimulants or uppers, are a class of drugs that speed up physical and mental processes. They temporarily make patients feel more alert and improve mood.
Stimulants are typically used to treat medical conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), attention-deficit disorder (ADD), fatigue, and narcolepsy. Some stimulants have been used as appetite suppressants, although the safety of this use remains controversial.
Examples of CNS stimulants include amphetamines, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin®), methamphetamine (e.g. Desoxyn® or Desoxyn Gradumet®), caffeine (e.g. coffee or tea), nicotine (cigarettes or cigars), and the illegal drug cocaine.
Side effects of stimulants vary depending on the specific dose and type of drug. In general, side effects of short-term use may include anxiety, insomnia, dry mouth, depersonalization, feeling of euphoria, increased heartbeat, crying, dysphoria, decreased appetite, hyperventilation, irritability, depression, nervousness, paranoia, mood swings, restlessness, and shaking or trembling.
Most CNS stimulants are highly addictive. However, some newer drugs, such as modafinil (Provigil®) are less addictive.
Because stimulants are highly addictive and have euphoric effects on the brain, they are often abused and taken as recreational drugs. Long-term abuse of stimulants can cause changes in the brain and lead to serious health problems, including severe mental illness and memory loss.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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