Basics on Stimulant Medications

Stimulant Medications

Basics on Stimulant Medications


Stimulants are a type of medication that works on the brain to increase energy levels, blood pressure, heart rate and respiration. Most of us use some kind of stimulant every day in the form of coffee or fizzy drinks although they are less powerful than the medications prescribed by doctors for ADHD or depression.

What are Stimulants?

The stimulant medications most commonly prescribed for mental illness include the following:


  • Methylphenidate
  • Dextroamphetamine
  • Amphetamine
  • Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate


Stimulants are also prescribed for other mental health conditions such as narcolepsy and also for physically ill people who are advanced in age and have failed to respond to other medications.

How do People Respond to Stimulants?

Although one of the characteristics of ADHD is restlessness and hyperactivity, prescription stimulants can help by enabling the person to focus with more clarity. Stimulants are only safe to use under the supervision of a physician as they are often abused recreationally for their clinical properties. When a child is prescribed stimulants, it is not unusual for parents to worry they will develop dependence. However, using stimulants as prescribed is extremely safe and effective in the treatment of ADHD.


As with all types of mental illness, everyone has their own individual experience. For this reason, the way someone responds to stimulants varies from person to person. It is always important to recognize any reduction in symptoms as a result of using stimulants as it is possible to find a more effective alternative. Stimulants should always be used according to specific instructions and individuals should seek advice prior to stopping using them.

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