Stimulants are exactly what their name implies: They stimulate the brain or body to react in a certain manner.
Depending on the medical condition for which a person is taking stimulants, the reaction can most often be one of increased physical and mental activity.
Stimulants can also act as a "filter." They allow the brain to process signals more efficiently, for a more effective result. It is thought that one way stimulants work is by increasing the amount of dopamine, a chemical found in the brain. This chemical acts as a neurotransmitter; in other words, it carries signals to and from the brain.
What Types of Stimulant Medications Are There?
There are several types of stimulant medications. Some of them, such as Nembutal and Seconal, are no longer prescribed as widely as they once were, simply because they have such a high incidence of becoming addictive, and the propensity for abuse of these drugs has always been high.
Further, while these drugs did work, and they worked very well, there have been other drugs designed and manufactured which work just a well, with fewer side effects and a lessened chance of abuse or addiction.
Some of the most currently widely-prescribed drugs include Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta. These are all stimulant drugs, and each contains a different stimulant ingredient. For example, Adderall contains Dextroamphetamine, while Ritalin and Concerta contain Methyphenidate.