one of a group of pharmacological agents that increase the excitability and restorative functions of the central nervous system when it is inhibited and improve mood, mental and physical performance, and an individual’s sense of well-being.
Three main groups of stimulants are distinguished according to the nature of their pharmacological effect—psychostimulants, antidepressants, and analeptics. Psychostimulants stimulate mental activity and are used to improve levels of mental and physical performance. Examples include caffeine and amphetamine. Antidepressants relieve mental depression and are therefore used in the treatment of nervous and mental diseases accompanied by negative emotions, sadness, and lack of initiative. This group includes tricyclic compounds, for example, imizin, amitriptyline, Azaphenum, and Phthoracizinum, and monoamine-oxidase inhibitors, for example, Iprazid (iproniazid), nialamide, and tran-samin. Analeptics (restoratives) increase the excitability of respiratory and circulatory centers. They include korazole, cordiamin, anhydride of carbonic acid, strychnine, camphor, bemegride, and Cytiton (baptitoxine). Analeptics are used in the treatment of a variety of severe diseases and terminal states to excite corresponding brain centers and reflexes of the spinal cord.
Nervous stimulants are effective only when cetain functions of the central nervous system are weak. If the central nervous system is normal, its functions cannot be intensified because nervous stimulants do not deliver energy resources to the body but merely mobilize the body’s reserves. Some psychostimulants, mainly amphetamines, may become addictive upon prolonged use.
REFERENCESMashkovskii, M. D. Lekarstvennye sredstva, 7th ed., part 1. Moscow, 1972.
Zakusov, V. V. Farmakologiia Isentral’nykh sinapsov. Moscow, 1973.
Avrutskii, G. Ia., I. Ia. Gurovich, and V. V. Gromova. Farmakoterapiia psikhicheskikh zabolevanii. Moscow, 1974.
V. V. ZAKUSOV