Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 1443-1445

Stimulant Medications

  • Ramzi M. HassonAffiliated withEducational Psychology and Special Education, Michigan State University
  • , Andy V. PhamAffiliated withEducational Psychology and Special Education, Michigan State University
  • , John S. CarlsonAffiliated withEducational Psychology and Special Education, Michigan State University

Synonyms

Adderall; ADHD medication; Amphetamine salts; Concerta; Dexadrine; Dexamphetamine; Methylphenidate; Ritalin

Definition

Stimulant medications are psychoactive drugs that act on the central nervous system by inhibiting the reuptake of specific neurotransmitters including dopamine and norepinephrine, and consequently may elicit alertness, arousal, and in some cases euphoric feelings. Moreover, these medications may help attenuate symptoms of mild depression and narcolepsy, but are largely used to treat symptoms of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Popular stimulants in clinical use are largely prepared from methylphenidate, dextromethylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, or mixed amphetamine salts [3].

Description

Historical Context and the Modern Use of Stimulant Medications

The history of stimulant medication developed from the ancient use of stimulants, for largely recreational uses, by many cultures in different parts of the world. Stimulant us ...

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