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Neurotransmitters and Drugs Chart

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Disclaimer: Do not misuse drugs. Do not use drugs for fun. Take drugs exactly as prescribed by a trustworthy doctor, and do not fear
necessary prescription drugs because of terrible side effects on this chart (which, by the way, may be inapplicable or extremely rare in
your case and have been considered by your doctor). This chart provides a rough overview of some common recreational drugs. This
chart is an oversimplification, it has omissions, and it may have blatant inaccuracies due to ongoing scientific debate or the writer's
ignorance. Important note: All of these drugs are dangerous, but none of these drugs is The Devil in Powdered Form. Every one of these
drugs has been used with no visible detrimental effect by some lucky people, but every one of these drugs could also destroy your life.
Why would you take the risk?
Chart compiled by Zak Fallows
Please ask questions, make comments, point out errors, and give suggestions by sending email to
[email protected]
Drug class:
Subgroup:
Benzodiazepines
Specific drugs:
Examples:
Diazepam (Valium), clonazepam
(Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan),
temazepam (Restoril), flunitrazepam
(Rohypnol), triazolam (Halcion),
alprazolam (Xanax)
Benzodiazepine
agonists
Zolpidem (Ambien), eszopiclone
(Lunesta), zopiclone, zaleplon (Sonata)
Barbiturates
Phenobarbital, pentobarbital, thiopental
(sodium pentothal, sodium amytal),
secobarbital
Sedatives
Alcohol
Gammahydroxybutyrate (GHB), GBL, 1,4-butanediol
Mechanism:
Stimulants
MDMA (ecstasy), MDA, MDEA
Cocaine
Full opioid
agonists
Narcotics
Cannabis
Morphine, heroin (diacetylmorphine),
hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone
(Percocet, Oxycontin), fentanyl, Demerol,
codeine, opium, hydromorphone
(Dilaudid), oxymorphone (Opana),
methadone
Side effects:
Any medical use:
Drowsiness, falls,
Agonist at
Calm, relaxed muscles, impaired coordination,
benzodiazepine site on
sleepy
impaired memory,
the GABA-A receptor
dizziness
Anxiety,
insomnia,
epilepsy, many
other diseases
Mainly just sleepy,
sometimes
hallucinations and
sleep-like states
Insomnia
Same as above
Same as
benzodiazepines
Same as
benzodiazepines, plus
Calm, euphoric, sleepy breathing suppressed,
terrible withdrawal,
death
Same as
Opens BK potassium
benzodiazepines, plus
channels
nausea, vomiting,
(hyperpolarizing
Calm, euphoric, loss of
breathing suppressed,
neurons), closes SK
inhibitions (facilitates
terrible withdrawal
potassium channels in
socializing, talking,
(including psychosis
reward center of brain singing, sex), relaxed
and seizures), brain
(causing DA release),
damage, various
probably other effects
diseases, death
Same as
Agonist at GHB receptor Euphoric, energetic, benzodiazepines, plus
(may desensitize it or
sleepy, calm (mix of
nausea, vomiting,
inhibit GABA), agonist stimulant and sedative breathing suppressed,
at GABA-B receptor
effects)
psychosis, seizures,
death
Agonist at barbiturate
site on the GABA-A
receptor
Amphetamine (Adderall),
methamphetamine (Desoxyn),
methylphenidate (Ritalin), phentermine, 4methylaminorex, phenmetrazine
Increase release and
(Preludin), methcathinone, fenfluramine inhibit reuptake of 5-HT,
(Pondimin, Fen-Phen), dexfenfluramine
DA, and NE.
(Redux), pseudoephedrine (Sudafed),
ephedrine, phenylpropanolamine (old
Triaminic), phenylephrine (Sudafed PE)
Amphetamines
Major effects:
Euphoric, energetic,
able to work,
concentrate, stay
awake. Reduces
appetite.
Anxiety, paranoia,
psychosis, high blood
pressure, heart attack,
stroke, brain damage
when used excessively
Epilepsy, other
diseases in the
past and more
rarely today
Alcohol
withdrawal
Narcolepsy
(improves
cataplexy, not
simply a sleep
aid)
ADHD,
narcolepsy,
obesity, rarely
depression
Euphoric, energetic,
deep and unusual
Same as amphetamine,
thoughts, perceived
plus brain damage,
inspiration and novelty, confusion, agitation,
Like above, but releases enhances sex, dancing, frequently death due to
None
a lot more 5-HT
music, art, touch and
hyperthermia, heart
senses. Contentment.
attack, water
Connection to other intoxication, and other
people, strong
problems.
emotions.
Inhibits 5-HT, NE, and
Local anesthesia
Same as amphetamine,
DA reuptake, blocks
Same as amphetamine
and bleeding
plus a worse risk of
voltage-gated sodium
(above)
control,
heart attack
channels
diagnostic tests
Activate all opioid
receptors completely.
Reduce NE release.
Euphoric, pain relief,
calm, relaxed, sleepy,
appetite suppression
Nausea, constipation, Pain relief, rarely
vomiting, drowsiness, depression and
breathing suppressed
diarrhea
Only activate certain
subtypes of opioid
Partial, selective,
Pain relief, not quite as
Pain relief, rarely
Buprenorphine (Suboxone), pentazocine, receptors, and/or do not
Nausea, constipation,
or mixed opioid
euphoric or relaxing as
depression, opioid
nalbuphine, tramadol (Ultram), tifluadom
activate them fully,
vomiting, drowsiness
agonists
full agonists (above)
addiction
and/or block certain
subtypes.
Might relieve
Memory, thinking,
Unusual thoughts and
nausea, vomiting,
reflexes, and
feelings, sometimes
and neuropathic
Active ingredient is mostly tetrahydrocannabinol, some other Agonist at cannabinoid
coordination are
calm, happy, hungry,
pain. Pills already
active ingredients like cannabidiol in smaller quantities
receptors
impaired. May
enhanced appreciation
legal, other forms
contribute to psychosis
of art
under
in the long term.
investigation.
Mescaline (peyote cactus), 2C-series drugs
Feeling of novelty,
Partial agonist at 5-HT2 inspiration, reverence.
(2C-B, 2C-I, 2C-C, 2C-T-7), 3C-E, 4-
Phenethylamines
MTA, PMA, DO-series drugs (DOC,
DOB, DOI, DOM)
receptors (2A and
possibly 2C). This
receptor is mostly
excitatory, but it is
Psilocybin and psilocin (both in
inhibitory in certain
mushrooms), bufotenin (in toads), DMT
(in plants), 5-MeO-DMT (in plants), 5- parts of the brain dealing
with perception.
MeO-DiPT, DET, AMT, 4-HO-DiPT
Fast, disordered
Anxiety, insomnia,
thoughts, trances.
paranoia, temporary
Perceptual anomalies:
psychosis. May
patterns move, colors contribute to psychosis
brighter, seeing sounds, in the long term, or
smelling colors. Crazy
cause "flashbacks"
ideas and beliefs.
(HPPD). Some cause
nausea, increased body
Same as above, plus
temperature, tremors.
Same as above, plus
other effects, depends
agonism at other 5-HT,
of frequency of use and
DA, and NE receptors.
dose.
None
Psilocybin and
LSD have been
Tryptamines
tested for the
treatment of
cluster headaches
Other ergolines
Lysergic acid diethylamine (LSD), LSA
are used for many
Ergolines
(ergine, in plants)
diseases but are
not psychedelic.
Anesthesia. A
Feeling of distance
Nausea, vomiting,
related drug,
from reality and body,
coma, violence,
memantine, is
Dissociative
NMDA (glutamate
numbing of sensations
extreme confusion,
used in
Phencyclidine (PCP), dextromethorphan, ketamine
anesthetics
receptor) antagonists
and pain. Convincing temporary psychosis.
Alzheimer's
and absorbing
PCP causes brain
disease, and these
hallucinations.
damage.
could be used in
stroke sufferers.
Extreme confusion,
Loss of memory,
temporary psychosis,
Scopolamine and atropine (in plants), diphenhydramine
Muscarinic (ACh
convincing and
Many legitimate
Deliriants
hot, dry skin, dry
(Benadryl), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine)
receptor) antagonists
absorbing
uses
mouth, huge pupils, fast
hallucinations.
heartbeat, death
Calm, relaxed,
Many diseases, death,
euphoric, pain relief,
nausea, vomiting,
Diethyl ether (starter fluid), toluene, gasoline, glue, paint,
Unknown, probably
hallucinations, strange
General
accidental asphyxiation,
xenon, freon, halothane, sevoflurane
multiple mechanisms
sensations (different
anesthesia
falls, varies depending
inhalants cause different
on particular drug
effects from this list)
Inhalants
Calm, euphoric, pain
Unknown, but opioid
General or partial
Nitrous oxide
relief, memory loss,
Similar to above
pathways are necessary
anesthesia
unconsciousness
Stimulate NO system
"Head rush", muscle Dangerously low blood
Nitrites
Isoamyl nitrite, isobutyl nitrite
(NO is a
Heart conditions
relaxation, dizziness
pressure, fainting
neurotransmitter)
Convincing, absorbing
Dysphoria, panic,
Theoretically
Selective agonist of the
hallucinations,
headache, inability to
similar to pain
Salvinorin A (salvia divinorum)
kappa opioid receptor
visionary states, pain
talk, falls, sweating,
relievers
relief
persisting anxiety
(pentazocine)
Vaguely like a
Nausea, other side
Muscimol (amanita muscaria)
GABA-A agonist
Useful in research
hallucinogen
effects
Nicotinic acetylcholine
Nicotine (tobacco)
See Wikipedia, PubMed, Google
receptor agonist
Adenosine receptor
Alertness, wakefullness,
Other
antagonist, inhibits some
Insomnia, anxiety,
energy, appetite
Caffeine (coffee, tea, other plants)
PDE enzymes causing
headaches on
Headaches
suppression, headache
increased cAMP
withdrawal, diuresis
relief
signaling
Anxiety,
Methaqualone (Quaalude, Sopor), thalidomide, meprobamate
Depending on the drug: Falls, poor coordination
depression,
Various mechanisms,
(Miltown), carisoprodol (Soma), glutethimide, chloral hydrate
Calm, sleepy, euphoric, and memory, coma,
insomnia, pain,
mostly related to GABA,
(knockout drops, Micky), ethchlorvynol (Placidyl),
relaxed muscles, pain other side effects vary
anesthesia,
similar to barbiturates
methyprylon, primidone
relief, nausea relief
from drug to drug
epilepsy, muscle
relaxation, nausea
Disclaimer: Do not use drugs for fun. Take drugs exactly as prescribed by a trustworthy doctor. This chart provides a rough overview, it is an oversimplification, it has
omissions, and it may have blatant inaccuracies due to ongoing scientific debate or the writer's idiocy.
Psychedelics
NeuroACh
transmitter: Acetylcholine
Effects:
NE
Norepinephrine
↓Heart rate
↑Heart rate
↑Secretions
↑Alertness
(sweat, saliva)
↑Happiness
↑Memory
↓Blood
↑Muscle
circulation ↓Pain
contractions
DA
Dopamine
↑Alertness
↑Happiness
↓Hunger
Amphetamine,
Nicotine,
cocaine, SNRIs
muscarine,
(Effexor,
Amphetamine,
Chantix, nerve
Cymbalta),
cocaine,
gases (VX,
tricyclic
Parkinson's
Drugs that
Sarin),
antidepressants, drugs (levodopa,
increase or Alzheimer's
MAOIs,
bromocriptine,
mimic: drugs (Aricept,
Wellbutrin, LSD, benztropine),
Exelon),
pseudoephedrine
MAOIs,
physostigmine,
(Sudafed),
Wellbutrin, LSD
Tensilon,
albuterol,
pilocarpine
pyridostigmine
5-HT
Serotonin
Glu
Glutamate
GABA
Opioids
Cannabinoids
Histamine
↑Hunger
↑Wakefulness
↑Stomach acid
↑Itchiness
↓Hunger
↑Happiness The most common
excitatory
↑Fullness ↓Pain
neurotransmitter
↑Sleepiness
↓Anxiety
↑Sleepiness
↓Alertness
↓Anxiety ↓Pain
↓Memory
↓Muscle tension
Amphetamine,
cocaine, LSD,
psychedelics
(mushrooms,
mescaline),
SSRIs (Prozac,
Zoloft), tricyclic
antidepressants,
MAOIs, BuSpar,
triptans
(sumatriptan, for
migraines)
Alcohol,
barbiturates
(phenobarbital),
Morphine,
THC
benzodiazepines
heroin, fentanyl, (marijuana,
(Valium), GHB,
hydrocodone
hashish),
baclofen,
(Vicodin)
nabilone
neurosteroids
(alphaxolone),
muscimol
D-cycloserine,
domoic acid
(shellfish)
BZ, atropine,
PCP, ketamine,
scopolamine,
Antipsychotics
Atypical
Propranolol,
Namenda (for
Drugs that benztropine,
(Haldol),
antipsychotics
clonidine,
Alzheimer's),
decrease or
biperiden,
reserpine,
(Risperdal,
phentolamine,
dextromethorphan
block:
curare, Botox,
tetrabenazine,
Seroquel),
reserpine, AMPT
(Robitussin),
mecamylamine,
AMPT
Zofran, reserpine
dizocilpine
α-bungarotoxin
Flumazenil,
bicuculline,
bemegride, Ro
15-4513,
phaclofen
Naloxone,
naltrexone
Opiates,
betahistine
Benadryl,
antipsychotics,
Rimonabant
Tagamet,
Zantac
Disclaimer: Do not use drugs for fun. Take drugs exactly as prescribed by a trustworthy doctor. This chart provides a rough overview, it is an oversimplification, it has
omissions, and it may have blatant inaccuracies due to ongoing scientific debate or the writer's idiocy.
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