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A psychostimulant is a substance that enhances locomotor behavior. Examples of psychostimulants include amphetamine, methamphetamine, cocaine, methylphenidate, and arecoline, the most widely used psychostimulant.

Nicotine and caffeine are not considered psychostimulants because they do not enhance locomotor behavior in rodents.[1]

Psychostimulants are often potent modulators of dopamine signaling, often affecting the activity of monoamine transporters such as the dopamine transporter and vesicular monoamine transporters.[2]


  1. Sulzer D, Sonders MS, Poulsen NW, Galli A (2005). "Mechanisms of neurotransmitter release by amphetamines: a review". Prog. Neurobiol. 75 (6): 406–33. doi:10.1016/j.pneurobio.2005.04.003. PMID 15955613.
  2. Riddle EL, Fleckenstein AE, Hanson GR (2005). "Role of monoamine transporters in mediating psychostimulant effects". The AAPS journal. 7 (4): E847–51. doi:10.1208/aapsj070481. PMID 16594636.

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