Stimulants are medications that are used to increase alertness, attention, and energy. They work by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain such as dopamine and norepinephrine. There are different types of stimulants, including amphetamines and methylphenidate.
Indications for stimulants are primarily attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, a sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden sleep attacks. They can also be used to treat other conditions such as depression and obesity.
Common side effects of stimulants can include difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, and stomach upset. They can also lead to other side effects such as irritability, anxiety, and high blood pressure. Long-term use can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms.
Precautions when taking stimulants include informing your doctor of any other medications you are taking, as stimulants can interact with other medications. They should also be used with caution in patients with a history of heart or blood pressure problems. It's also important to note that stimulants should only be used under the guidance of a medical professional and in the lowest possible dose to avoid side effects and dependence. If you experience severe side effects or withdrawal symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
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