Latest Drugs, Latest Approval in CNS stimulants

What are CNS stimulants?

CNS (central nervous system) stimulants are medicines that stimulate the brain, speeding up both mental and physical processes.

They increase energy, improve attention and alertness, and elevate blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate. They decrease the need for sleep, reduce appetite, improve confidence and concentration, and lessen inhibitions.

Experts aren’t exactly sure how CNS stimulants work, although they suspect they increase levels of one or more neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, or serotonin. They may also have other effects, depending on the actual drug. For example, phentermine possibly indirectly increases leptin levels – leptin is a substance that tells us we feel full.

What are CNS stimulants used for?

CNS stimulants may be useful for the treatment of certain conditions characterized by symptoms such as prolonged fatigue, inability to concentrate, or excessive sleepiness. CNS stimulants may also be used to help with weight loss in people who are morbidly obese. CNS stimulants have been used for the following conditions:

  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Chronic lethargy
  • Morbid obesity unresponsive to other treatments
  • Narcolepsy
  • Neonatal apnea
  • Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome
  • Prolonged depression that is unresponsive to traditional antidepressants.

Unfortunately, some people misuse CNS stimulants for their ability to increase energy levels. Some CNS stimulants also create a brief feeling of euphoria or temporarily increase self-confidence.

What are the differences between CNS stimulants?

CNS stimulants differ in their ability to increase levels of certain neurotransmitters which determines what effect they have in the body and their side effects.

There are also differences in the length of time they act for in the body and how quickly they start to work. Some CNS stimulants have been modified to improve their effect, for example, a methyl group was added to amphetamine to make methamphetamine which lasts longer than amphetamine, penetrates the brain better, and is less likely to detrimentally affect the heart.

Generic name Brand name examples
amphetamine Adzenys ER, Dyanavel XR, Evekeo
armodafinil Nuvigil
atomoxetine Strattera
benzphetamine Didrex, Regimex
caffeine citrate NoDoz, Vivarin
dextroamphetamine Dexedrine spansule, ProCentra, Zenzedi
dextroamphetamine/amphetamine combination Adderall, Mydayis
dexmethylphenidate Focalin
diethylpropion Generics only
lisdexamfetamine Vyvanse
methamphetamine Desoxyn
methylphenidate Aptensio XR, Concerta, Methylin, Metadate CD, Quillivant XR, Ritalin
modafinil Provigil
phendimetrazine Adipost, Bontril PDM
phentermine Adipex-P, Lomaira, Suprenza

Are CNS stimulants safe?

CNS stimulants have many unpleasant side effects and deaths have resulted from their misuse.

They are widely abused and highly addictive. Withdrawal symptoms can be very harsh which encourages repeated and frequent misuse to maintain the high. Addiction can happen quickly after just a few uses; or in some cases, one use. Tolerance occurs, which means more of the substance needs to be taken to maintain the desired high.

Misuse of CNS stimulants can cause severe paranoia and psychosis, severe depression and suicidal thoughts. It can lead to a break down in relationships and affect a person’s ability to keep a job. Drug seeking behavior can take over a person’s life to the extent that their nutrition suffers. Illness and sexual dysfunction are also common in people who misuse CNS stimulants.

What are the side effects of CNS stimulants?

CNS stimulants are associated with a number of severe and undesirable side effects such as:

  • Depersonalization (a feeling that you are an observer of yourself)
  • Dizziness
  • Facial tics
  • Headaches
  • Inability to sleep
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased rate of breathing
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of depression
  • Increased anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Manic behavior
  • Mood swings
  • Panic attacks
  • Paranoia
  • Restlessness
  • Tachycardia (a rapid heart rate)
  • Tremors or body shakes
  • Weight loss.

In addition, a dry mouth, unpleasant taste in the mouth, or gastrointestinal disturbances (nausea, diarrhea, or constipation) may also occur.

For a more extensive list of side effects, click on the individual drugs.

Name Updated
Daytrana patch (Methylphenidate (transdermal) [ meth-il-fen-ih-date ]) 17-Oct-2023
Methylphenidate hydrochloride la (Methylphenidate (oral) [ meth-il-fen-i-date ]) 26-Sep-2023
Methylphenidate hydrochloride cd (Methylphenidate (oral) [ meth-il-fen-i-date ]) 26-Sep-2023
Methylphenidate (transdermal) (Methylphenidate (transdermal) [ meth-il-fen-ih-date ]) 17-Aug-2023
Dexmethylphenidate and serdexmethylphenidate (Dexmethylphenidate and serdexmethylphenidate [ dex-meth-il-fen-i-date-and-ser-dex-meth-il-fen-i-date- ]) 16-Aug-2023
Dexmethylphenidate (Dexmethylphenidate [ dex-meth-il-fen-i-date ]) 16-Aug-2023
Amphetamine sulfate (Amphetamine [ am-fet-a-meen ]) 16-Aug-2023
Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine [ am-fet-a-meen-and-dex-troe-am-fet-a-meen ]) 16-Aug-2023
Pitolisant (Pitolisant [ pi-tol-i-sant ]) 16-Aug-2023
Caffeine citrate (injection/oral liquid) (Caffeine citrate (injection/oral liquid) [ kaf-een-sit-rate ]) 15-Aug-2023
Caffeine (Caffeine) 15-Aug-2023
Benzphetamine (Benzphetamine [ benz-fet-ah-meen ]) 15-Aug-2023
Pep-back recharge (Caffeine [ kaf-een ]) 15-Aug-2023
Lisdexamfetamine (Lisdexamfetamine [ lis-dex-am-fet-a-meen ]) 14-Aug-2023
Jet-alert (Caffeine [ kaf-een ]) 14-Aug-2023
Phendimetrazine (Phendimetrazine [ fen-di-meh-tra-zeen ]) 14-Aug-2023
Methylphenidate (Methylphenidate (oral) [ meth-il-fen-i-date ]) 13-Aug-2023
Fenfluramine (Fenfluramine [ fen-flur-a-meen ]) 13-Aug-2023
Diethylpropion (Diethylpropion [ dye-eth-ill-proe-pee-on ]) 13-Aug-2023
Armodafinil (Armodafinil [ ar-moe-daf-i-nil ]) 13-Aug-2023
Amphetamine (Amphetamine [ am-fet-a-meen ]) 11-Aug-2023
Phentermine (Phentermine [ fen-ter-meen ]) 11-Aug-2023
Methamphetamine (Methamphetamine [ meth-am-fet-a-meen ]) 11-Aug-2023
Modafinil (Modafinil [ moe-daf-i-nil ]) 11-Aug-2023
Provigil (Modafinil [ moe-daf-i-nil ]) 06-Aug-2023
Adzenys xr-odt (Amphetamine [ am-fet-a-meen ]) 05-Aug-2023
Alert (Caffeine [ kaf-een ]) 05-Aug-2023
Aptensio xr (Methylphenidate (oral) [ meth-il-fen-i-date ]) 05-Aug-2023
Adipex-p (Phentermine [ fen-ter-meen ]) 05-Aug-2023
Adhansia xr (Methylphenidate (oral) [ meth-il-fen-i-date ]) 05-Aug-2023
Vivarin (Caffeine [ kaf-een ]) 14-Jul-2023
Tenuate (Diethylpropion [ dye-eth-ill-proe-pee-on ]) 14-Jul-2023
Suprenza (Phentermine [ fen-ter-meen ]) 14-Jul-2023
Stay awake (Caffeine [ kaf-een ]) 14-Jul-2023
Ritalin la (Methylphenidate (oral) [ meth-il-fen-i-date ]) 14-Jul-2023
Relexxii (Methylphenidate (oral) [ meth-il-fen-i-date ]) 14-Jul-2023
Procentra (Dextroamphetamine [ dex-tro-am-fet-a-meen ]) 14-Jul-2023
Pep-back peak performance (Caffeine [ kaf-een ]) 13-Jul-2023
Nuvigil (Armodafinil [ ar-moe-daf-i-nil ]) 13-Jul-2023
No doz (Caffeine [ kaf-een ]) 13-Jul-2023
Mydayis (Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine mixed salts) 13-Jul-2023
Methylin (Methylphenidate (oral) [ meth-il-fen-i-date ]) 13-Jul-2023
Metadate er (Methylphenidate (oral) [ meth-il-fen-i-date ]) 13-Jul-2023
Melfiat (Phendimetrazine [ fen-di-meh-tra-zeen ]) 13-Jul-2023
Evekeo odt (Amphetamine [ am-fet-a-meen ]) 13-Jul-2023
Evekeo (Amphetamine [ am-fet-a-meen ]) 13-Jul-2023
Dyanavel xr (Amphetamine [ am-fet-a-meen ]) 13-Jul-2023
Didrex (Benzphetamine [ benz-fet-ah-meen ]) 13-Jul-2023
Dexedrine spansule (Dextroamphetamine [ dex-tro-am-fet-a-meen ]) 13-Jul-2023
Desoxyn (Methamphetamine [ meth-am-fet-a-meen ]) 13-Jul-2023