There is a certain tendency among people who write articles about different medications. Namely, when we were checking out what people write about in their blogs, we noticed that very few people bother to explain how different medications work. While this is understandable when people are writing about different non-FDA approved medications and natural supplements that actually have no scientifically-proven mechanism of work, we had troubles figuring out why people do not explain how medications work when they are talking about drugs that are proper and that have definite mechanisms of action. We think that it might have to do with the fact that it is difficult to explain such technical stuff without being either too simplistic or too complicated and esoteric. However, in this article, we are going to try and explain how Ritalin works and be both clear but also not leaving out anything important.
First of all, we need to note that Ritalin is a stimulant, a psychostimulant drug. This means that it works by stimulating certain processes in the central nervous system and thus leading to improvement of certain cognitive processes.
The way in which Ritalin achieves this is not too complicated, although scientists still argue as to what exactly happens when Ritalin is ingested. Some people think one thing, while others believe Ritalin does more. It will all be much clearer when we start to explain.
The way in which Ritalin achieves its effects is by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters are responsible for a number of processes in the body, depending on which of their receptors they act on. These neurotransmitters may affect cognition, sleep, memory, attention, learning, motivation, mood, punishment and reward, etc. The neurotransmitters that Ritalin affects are dopamine and epinephrine, which are responsible for all the aforementioned processes in the brain, as well as for some other.
Ritalin increases the levels of these neurotransmitters by blocking the dopamine and norepinephrine transporters, which means that these receptors in the synapses are unable to reuptake these neurotransmitters as much as they usually do. This leads to an increase in the levels of these neurotransmitters. Moreover, there are scientists that believe that, in addition to this, Ritalin also stimulates a greater release of norepinephrine and dopamine, as well as that it has an effect on the action of another neurotransmitter serotonin.
However, what is certain is that the reuptake of these neurotransmitters is inhibited, which results in an increase in dopamine and norepinephrine levels, which ultimately leads to improved cognition, attention, working memory, wakefulness, vigilance and also performance. Due to these positive effects, Ritalin is used in treatment of narcolepsy, as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
We hope that this explanation of how Ritalin works is not too jumbled and that you now have at least some insight into the mechanism of action of this amazing medication.