People who are depressed have in the past been treated frequently with benzedrine, or amphetamine, which stimulates but which has the undesirable effect of raising the blood pressure.
A new drug called Meratran has little effect on the breathing, the pulse rate, or the blood pressure but does act directly on the brain to overcome depression. If the central nervous system is underactive, this drug seems to restore it to a more normal level of activity.
Obviously drugs of this type are not given to people who are overexcited. The drug has been useful in the condition called narcolepsy, in which there is a sudden irresistible desire to sleep. This condition has also been treated with amphetamine.
The new drug is used in cases of fatigue, drowsiness, or what is called a low-down feeling.
Another use has been in disorders of the liver, in infections, deficient action of the thyroid gland, depression that comes during the menopause, and alcoholic hangovers. The drug does not affect the appetite, so that it is given before or after meals.