A stimulant is any of a group of drugs that can increase alertness and awareness, usually for a short time only. Most stimulants have more side-effects than other drugs. Some are classified as illegal drugs, most can cause addiction. For this reason, most legal stimulants are only available on prescription. Stimulants act on the nerves: Stimulants cause more neurotransmitters to the synapse (this is the gap between different nerves)
Most stimulants fall into one of the following groups:
- Amphetamine and its derivates: Methylphenidate, Methamphetamine, Pseudoephedrine Ephedrine, Ecstasy
- Xanthines: Caffeine, Theophylline, Theobromine
- Piperazine and its derivates: Benzylpiperazine, Trifluoromethylphenylpiperazine
- Various others: Cocaine, Nicotine, Modafinil
Some of the substances mentioned above can be used to treat certain diseases. Some are mostly used as illegal drugs.