CNS Stimulants

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Chapter: Medicinal Chemistry : CNS Stimulants

Central nervous system (CNS) stimulants are drugs that stimulate the CNS. They fall into the following three broad categories: 1. Convulsants and respiratory stimulants 2. Psychomotor stimulants 3. Psychomimetic drugs or hallucinogenic drugs.


CNS Stimulants

INTRODUCTION

Central nervous system (CNS) stimulants are drugs that stimulate the CNS. They fall into the following three broad categories:

  1. Convulsants and respiratory stimulants.

  2. Psychomotor stimulants.

  3. Psychomimetic drugs or hallucinogenic drugs.

Convulsants or respiratory stimulants (analeptics): They have little effect on the mental function and appear to act mainly on the brain stem and spinal cord, producing reflex excitability, as increase in the activity of the respiratory and vasomotor centre and with higher doses it produce convulsions.

Psychomotor stimulants: They have a marked effect on mental function and behaviour, producing excitement, cessation of fatigue, and increase in motor activity.

Examples: (amphetamine, caffeine, and cocaine)

Psychomimetic drugs: They mainly affect through pattern, perception, and mood producing effects that superficially resemble the changes seen in schizophrenia.

Analeptics: Analeptics (Greek-restorative) also called respiratory stimulants are general CNS stimulants. Analeptics are drugs that when administered stimulate all the parts of CNS, especially the brain medulla, thereby counteracting the depressant activity due to the administration of excess CNS depressants. Some of the CNS stimulants are mainly used as analeptics. Analeptics is a Greek word that can be translated as having the meaning ‘picking up’ those who have been cast down. Analeptics stimulate the CNS system and in large doses, they cause generalized convulsions.


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