Pramipexole (Methylphenidate) is a drug used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It works by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. The drug was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999 for children with ADHD who were not responding well to other treatments. Since then it has been prescribed off label for adults suffering from depression, anxiety, obesity, insomnia, and many others conditions.
The FDA has approved two forms of pramipexole: the extended release form (PRX-R) and the immediate release form (PRX-I). PRX stands for phenylethylamine derivative.
Methylphenidate is a chemical compound found naturally in certain plants such as Rhamnus purshiana, which are commonly known as “Pepto Bismol”. These plants contain methylphenidate. When consumed, methylphenidate acts as a stimulant.
In humans, methylphenidate is metabolized into its active ingredient, called methylphenidate or MPH. This molecule is primarily responsible for the euphoric feeling produced by the drug.
However, there are some negative effects associated with using this medication such as weight gain and increased blood pressure.
In the 1990s, MPH was sold as a treatment for narcolepsy and ADHD. It was very popular in the 2000s when doctors began prescribing it off label to children who complained of symptoms such as lethargy, mood swings, or any other behavior that could be interpreted as problematic.
The drug has been very profitable to pharmaceutical companies since its release, with the patent lasting until 2015.
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