This is an imidazole derivative which differs chemically from the amphetamines. It is readily absorbed, has an onset of action within 30-60 min and its peak effect is at around 2 h. It is excreted in the urine. The usual dose is 2-12 mg daily given either as one or two doses. Two milligrams are equivalent in effectiveness to around 10 mg dexamphetamine.

Its mechanism of action is uncertain, but it may inhibit noradrenaline and dopamine re-uptake, particularly in the limbic system. It has little effect on total sleep time, but reduces REM sleep. It increases alertness and may cause insomnia, but not euphoria. Loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, constipation, hypertension, tremor and urinary retention may occur. Tolerance and abuse are also recognized.

Mazindol is an effective stimulant with an anticata-plectic action but its side-effects have limited its use, and it is now hardly available.

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