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Sedatives – Side Effects, Dependence & Addiction

Sedative drugs are helpful for treating anxiety and sleep problems, but using them can lead to dependence or addiction.

Sedatives are a category of drugs that slow brain activity.

Also known as tranquilizers or depressants, sedatives have a calming effect and can also induce sleep.

There are three main classes of sedative medications:

Barbiturates: These drugs can be taken on their own or along with anesthesia. They’re sometimes used to treat seizure disorders.

Some examples of barbiturates include Nembutal (pentobarbital) and phenobarbital.

Benzodiazepines: These drugs are also used to treat seizures, as well as for muscle spasms, and anxiety before medical procedures.

Some examples of benzodiazepines include Xanax (alprazolam), Valium (diazepam), Ativan (lorazepam), Librium (chlordiazepoxide), Halcion (triazolam), Serax (oxazepam), and Klonopin (clonazepam).

Rohypnol (flunitrazepam) is a short-acting benzodiazepine that is 10 times stronger than Valium. Rohypnol has been used as a “date rape” drug, and is no longer legal in the United States.

“Z-drug” sleep medications: These drugs act on a specific type of receptor in the central nervous system called BZ1, which makes their action as a sleep aid very targeted.

Some examples of “Z-drug” medications include Ambien (zolpidem), Lunesta (eszopiclone), and Sonata (zaleplon).

Hallucinations and psychosis have been reported in some people who take these drugs, and they’re not intended for long-term use.

Side Effects of Sedatives

The effects of using sedatives can resemble those of alcohol. In addition to their desired calming effects, sedative use can cause:

  • Drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion
  • Problems with movement and memory
  • Slowed heart rate and breathing, which may be worsened if combined with alcohol
  • Increased risk of falls and injury
  • Worsening of depression and anxiety symptoms
  • Impaired attention and judgment
  • Mood swings and inappropriate behavior
  • Risk of dependence and addiction
  • Risk of death from overdose, either intentional or unintentional

If you suspect an overdose in yourself or someone else, contact a poison control center or get to an emergency room immediately.

You can contact a poison control center at (800) 222-1222.

Sedative Dependence and Addiction

Dependence and addiction are risks for all three classes of sedatives.

Addiction means having a compulsive desire to use a drug, even when this has a harmful effect on your work or personal life.

If you’re addicted, you may feel unable to quit using the drug.

Dependence is when your body learns to depend on a drug. It can occur without addiction, but it often accompanies addiction.

If you become dependent on a drug, you may need a higher dose to achieve the desired effect (tolerance), or there may be physical or psychological effects when the drug is stopped (withdrawal).

If you’re using any sedative medication regularly, you shouldn’t stop taking it abruptly, as this can cause severe withdrawal symptoms such as seizures.

In order to stop taking the drug, you may need to have your dose reduced over time (tapered) with the help of a healthcare provider.

Sedatives, also known as depressants

Overview of Sedatives

Common sedatives include barbiturates, benzodiazepines, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), opioids and sleep inducing drugs such as zolpidem (Ambien) and eszopiclone (Lunesta). Sedatives are central nervous system depressants and vary widely in their potency. They are usually in the form of a pill or liquid. Though sedatives are used widely for their medicinal properties, abuse of sedatives can result in dependence and addiction.

Sedative Use

Sedatives are used to treat varying conditions; a few common examples include anxiety, tension, seizures, panic disorders and sleep disorders. Most sedatives that are used for recreational purposes have been diverted from medical use. See Prescription Drug Abuse for more information.

Effects of Sedatives

The effects of sedatives can last anywhere from a couple of hours to more than a day. Generally, sedatives cause physical depression, muscular relaxation and sedation; due to the varying types of sedatives, there is a range of other effects depending on which substance has been taken.   Sedatives depress most body functions, so they greatly impact the ability to drive, operate machinery and participate in tasks requiring muscle coordination.  An individual who is under the influence of a sedative, especially if in combination with another drug, should never drive. Here are some effects of sedatives:

  • Feeling of relaxation
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Reduced intensity of physical sensations
  • Lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Shallow breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Muscle incoordination
  • Reduced dexterity
  • Impaired learning during period the sedative is active
  • Interruptions in memory

Sometimes unexpected paradoxical side effects occur, such as anxiety, nightmares and hostility.

Mixing with Other Substances

Though sedatives should never be mixed with other substances, they are particularly dangerous when mixed with any other substance that makes a person drowsy; this includes other sedatives/depressants such as alcohol, cold medicines, and opiates (Codeine, Heroin). Fatal suppression of breathing can occur if two sedating substances are mixed. If someone is difficult to rouse and you suspect they have used sedatives, seek medical help immediately.


If an individual has become dependent on a sedative, even if just for a few months, withdrawal can be severe. The severity of withdrawal increases as the dose and duration of use increases. A sedative dependent individual should taper off the drug, as seizures or even death can occur if withdrawal is too sudden. Other withdrawal symptoms generally include the magnification or recurrence of the original symptoms being treated.

How We Can Help

If you think you or a friend may have an issue with sedative drug abuse, call (530) 752-6334 or go to Health-e-messaging and log in to schedule an appointment with the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Intervention Services Coordinator. There is no charge for the confidential appointment.


Sedation, an unpleasant, undesirable and potentially dangerous side-effect of many psychotropic drugs


doi: 10. 1002/hup.561.




  • 1 EA 3256 Neurobiologie de l’Anxiété et de la Dépression, Faculty of Medicine, B.P. 53508-44035 Nantes cédex 01, France.

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Michel Bourin et al.

Hum Psychopharmacol.

2004 Mar.

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  • 1 EA 3256 Neurobiologie de l’Anxiété et de la Dépression, Faculty of Medicine, B. P. 53508-44035 Nantes cédex 01, France.

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Sedation is a property of many psychotropic drugs. It can be defined as a decrease in psychomotor and cognitive performance. Many of the earlier neuroleptic, anxiolytic, antidepressant and antihistamine drugs were extremely sedative and sedation came to be considered as an integral part of the activity of these compounds. Newer, far less sedative, examples of each of these classes have shown that sedation is not required for their efficacy. Sedation is now increasingly considered as an adverse effect which should be avoided rather than a desirable effect especially when treating disorders such as anxiety or depression. This article discusses the sedative properties and mechanisms of different classes of psychotropic drugs.

Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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MeSH terms

  • Psychotropic Drugs / adverse effects*
  • Reaction Time / drug effects*
  • Reaction Time / physiology

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Procedural Sedation | Johns Hopkins Medicine

What is procedural sedation?

Procedural sedation is a medical technique. It’s used to calm a person before a procedure. It involves giving you sedatives or pain pills. These drugs ease discomfort, pain, and anxiety. They are usually given through an IV line in your arm. Or you may swallow or inhale them.

While you are under this type of sedation, you will have your procedure. Your medical team will carefully observe your heart and breathing. You will likely be awake the whole time. But you may not remember anything afterward.

The level of sedation can vary. It can range from minimal to fairly deep. People who need only a little can respond normally to questions and requests. If you are put under a deeper level of sedation, you may need some stimulation to respond. You are not put into deep sleep. That’s called general anesthesia.

Why might I need procedural sedation?

The technique is used for a lot of procedures. The goal is to reduce pain, anxiety, and unpleasant memories of a procedure. It can also make a procedure more effective. For instance, feeling relaxed may make it easier to fix a broken bone.

Procedural sedation is used only for short, straightforward procedures. It is not used for complex surgeries. Some procedures that use this type of sedation include:

  • Bone or joint realignment to fix a broken bone or dislocated joint
  • Breast biopsy to evaluate a lump in the breast
  • Bronchoscopy to evaluate lung conditions
  • Dental surgery
  • Electrical cardioversion to restore a normal heart rhythm
  • Endoscopy for gastrointestinal problems
  • Lumbar puncture to check for neurological disease
  • Minor foot or skin surgery

What are the risks for procedural sedation?

Procedural sedation is a fairly safe practice. Your own risks may differ somewhat. They are based on your age and any other medical conditions you may have. They also depend on the type of sedation you are given.

Some possible side effects are:

  • Changes in heart rate and blood pressure (rare)
  • Decreased rate of breathing
  • Headache
  • Inhalation of stomach contents into your lungs (rare)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unpleasant memory of the experience

Side effects are usually not serious. They tend to go away shortly after the procedure. Your medical team can also prevent many of them by watching you closely during your procedure.

How do I prepare for procedural sedation?

You will be told how to prepare for your procedure. Beforehand, let your healthcare provider know about the following:

  • Your medical history
  • Any past problems with sedation or anesthesia
  • Any recent symptoms, such as a sudden fever
  • Any medicine you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs, such as aspirin

If needed, you should stop smoking before your procedure. That will help lower your chance of problems. You should also not eat or drink anything after midnight before your scheduled procedure. Sometimes sedation is still used in the case of an emergency even if a person has eaten recently. You’ll also need to arrange to have someone available to drive you home afterward.

In some cases, you may need other tests to check your health before your procedure. These might include:

  • Basic blood work to check for anemia and infection
  • Chest X-ray to view your heart and lungs
  • ECG or EKG to check your heart rhythm

What happens during procedural sedation?

Ask your healthcare provider about what to expect when you are sedated. Only those who are specially trained in the technique will perform it. You might have the procedure in a hospital or an outpatient surgery facility.

In general, you can expect the following:

  • You will be given medicine through an IV line (often through a vein in your arm). Or you may receive a shot. The medicine may also be given by mouth or by inhalation.
  • If you receive medicine through an IV, you may feel the effects very quickly.
  • You should start to feel relaxed and drowsy.
  • Your breathing and blood pressure may drop a little. But you shouldn’t need help with your breathing. You might receive a little extra oxygen through a mask.
  • Throughout the procedure, your heart rate, your breathing, and your blood pressure will be closely watched.
  • You will probably stay awake the entire time. If you do fall asleep, you should be easy to wake, if needed. You should feel little or no pain.
  • When your procedure is over, the medicine will be stopped. You should return to normal consciousness fairly quickly.

What happens after procedural sedation?

You may have a dim memory of the procedure. Or you may not remember it at all. You will likely be drowsy for a while afterward. You will be closely watched as you return to full consciousness.

You should be able to return home within an hour or two after your procedure. Plan to have someone stay with you for at least a few hours. Depending on the reason for your sedation, you may receive more directions. For example, you may need to keep the area of a surgical incision elevated.

Side effects like headache and nausea often go away quickly. But tell your healthcare provider if they persist. Depending on the type of procedure you had, you may need to take pain medicine.

You can usually go back to a normal diet and most of your regular activities soon after the procedure. But don’t drive or make any important decisions for at least 24 hours. Be sure to follow all after-care instructions. Also take any medicine as directed. Depending on your procedure, you may need more treatments or follow-up procedures.

Next steps

Before you agree to the test or the procedure make sure you know:

  • The name of the test or procedure
  • The reason you are having the test or procedure
  • What results to expect and what they mean
  • The risks and benefits of the test or procedure
  • What the possible side effects or complications are
  • When and where you are to have the test or procedure
  • Who will do the test or procedure and what that person’s qualifications are
  • What would happen if you did not have the test or procedure
  • Any alternative tests or procedures to think about
  • When and how will you get the results
  • Who to call after the test or procedure if you have questions or problems
  • How much will you have to pay for the test or procedure

Drug Free NJ – Prescription Sedatives & Tranquilizers

What are the street names/slang terms for Prescription Sedatives Tranquilizers?
Mebaral, Quaaludes, Xanax and Valium (benzodiazepines), Nembutal.

What are Prescription Sedatives Tranquilizers?
Prescription medications that act as central nervous system depressants. Barbiturates are prescription sedatives or “sleeping pills” and benzodiazepines are prescription “tranquilizers.”

What do they look like?
Multi-colored tablets and capsules; some can be in liquid form.

How are they used?
Medically, barbiturates are prescribed for acute anxiety, tension and sleep disorders. Benzodiazepines are prescribed for anxiety, acute stress reactions, and panic attacks. When abused, they are swallowed or injected.

What are their short-term effects?
Prescription sedatives and tranquilizers can cause euphoria. They also slow normal brain function, which may result in slurred speech, shallow breathing, sluggishness, fatigue, disorientation and lack of coordination or dilated pupils. During the first few days of taking a prescribed sedative or tranquilizer, a person usually feels sleepy and uncoordinated, but as the body becomes accustomed to the effects of the drug, these feelings begin to disappear. Higher doses cause impairment of memory, judgment and coordination, irritability, paranoid and suicidal ideation. Some people experience a paradoxical reaction to these drugs and can become agitated or aggressive. Using Prescription sedatives and tranquilizers with other substances – particularly alcohol – can slow breathing, or slow both the heart and respiration, and possibly lead to death.

What are their long-term effects?
Continued use can lead to physical dependence and – when use is reduced or stopped abruptly- withdrawal symptoms may occur. Because all Prescription sedatives and tranquilizers work by slowing the brain’s activity, when an individual stops taking them, there can be a rebound effect, possibly leading to seizures and other harmful consequences. Tolerance to the drug’s effects can also occur, meaning that larger doses are needed to achieve similar effects as those experienced initially.This may lead users to take higher doses and risk the occurrence of an overdose. Addiction can also occur, meaning that users continue to take these drugs despite their harmful consequences.Source: NIDA

What is their federal classification?
Not Applicable

DEA — this drug is classified as a Schedule IV drug 

List of Sedatives

Sedatives encompass a wide variety of drugs with different mechanisms of action that can induce depression of the central nervous system (CNS). In the first part of the 20th century, the pharmacotherapy of anxiety and insomnia relied on barbiturates, which were replaced with benzodiazepines as drugs of choice in the second part of the previous century. Besides those two groups of drugs, other sedatives are also used for that purpose.

Barbiturates and benzodiazepines

Barbiturates are nonselective CNS depressants that used to be the mainstay of treatment to sedate patients or to induce and maintain sleep. In modern medicine they have been largely replaced by the benzodiazepines, primarily because they can induce tolerance, physical dependence and serious withdrawal symptoms. Nevertheless, certain barbiturates are still employed as anticonvulsants (phenobarbital) and to induce anesthesia (thiopental). The representatives of this group are:

  • Amobarbital (Amytal)
  • Aprobarbital (Alurate)
  • Butabarbital (Butisol)
  • Mephobarbital (Mebaral)
  • Methohexital (Brevital)
  • Pentobarbital (Nembutal)
  • Phenobarbitol (Luminal)
  • Primidone (Mysoline)
  • Secobarbital (Seconal)
  • Thiopental (Penothal)

Benzodiazepines are the most widely used group of sedative drugs. Due to their safety and improved effectiveness, they have largely replaced barbiturates as drugs of choice in the treatment of anxiety. They also have hypnotic, anticonvulsant and muscle-relaxing activities, but do not exhibit analgesic action or antipsychotic activity. The representatives of this group are:

  • Alcohol (ethyl alcohol or ethanol)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Chloral hydrate (Somnote)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • Clorazepate (Tranxene)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Estazolam (Prosom)
  • Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol)
  • Flurazepam (Dalmane)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Midazolam (Versed)
  • Nitrazepam (Mogadon)
  • Oxazepam (Serax)
  • Temazepam (Restoril)
  • Triazolam (Halcion)

Other sedatives

Nonbenzodiazepine “Z-drugs” sedative-hypnotics are drugs that differ in structure from benzodiazepines, but acts on a subset of the benzodiazepine receptor family known as BZ1. Their onset of action is rapid, and they are considered the preferred hypnotics as they do not significantly alter the various sleep stages due to their relative selectivity for the aforementioned receptor. The representatives of this group are:

  • Eszopiclone (Lunesta)
  • Zaleplon (Sonata)
  • Zolpidem (Ambien)
  • Zopiclone (Zimovane)

Certain antihistamines with sedating properties (also known as first-generation antihistamines) are effective in treating mild forms of insomnia, although numerous undesirable side effects (such as their anticholinergic properties) make them less useful in comparison with benzodiazepines. Some sedative antihistamines can be found in numerous over-the-counter products. The representatives of this group are:

  • Chlorpheniramine (Histafen)
  • Dexchlorpheniramine (Polaramine)
  • Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine)
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • Promethazine (Phenergan)
  • Trimeprazine (Vallergan Forte)

Herbal sedatives have been used all over the world to treat insomnia and anxiety for thousands of years. Although they are undoubtedly effective to certain extent, some aspects of their psychopharmacology have to be resolved; for example, there is poor in vivo evidence of pharmacodynamics in humans, problematic efficacy evaluation in clinical studies, as well as cumbersome production of standardized extracts and lack of bioequivalence between different extracts. The representatives of this group are:

  • Atractylodes macrocephala
  • Dimocarpus longan
  • Dorstenia arifolia
  • Ipomoea tyrianthina
  • Hypericum montbretii
  • Piper methysticum
  • Valeriana officinalis
  • Zizyphus jujuba Mill var. spinosa

Other sedatives include alcohol, opioid sedatives, anesthetics, carbinols, agonists of melatonin receptors and other medicines that also act as CNS depressants via different mechanisms. They usually have limited therapeutic use, and some of the representatives are:

  • Chloral hydrate (Aquachloral)
  • Dexmedetomidine (Precedex)
  • Ethchlorvynol (Placidyl)
  • Etomidate  (Amidate)
  • Glutethimide (Doriden)
  • Methyprylon (Nodular)
  • Meprobamate (Miltown)
  • Methaqualone (Quaalude)
  • Paraldehyde (Paral)
  • Propofol (Diprivan)
  • Ramelteon (Rozerem)
  • Dexmedetomidine (Precedex)

Further Reading

IV Sedation: Definition & Effects


Today, physicians have many ways to make sure their patients are as comfortable as possible during surgery or procedures for diagnosing medical conditions. One common type of pain control is called sedation, which relaxes you and sometimes makes you fall asleep. Sedation, also known as monitored anesthesia care, conscious sedation, or twilight sedation, typically is used for minor surgeries or for shorter, less complex procedures, when an injection of local anesthetic isn’t sufficient but deeper general anesthesia isn’t necessary. These procedures might include some types of biopsies or involve the use of a scope to examine the throat or colon to find and treat medical conditions such as cancer.

An analgesic is a medication used to achieve analgesia, or pain relief, and is often combined with sedation. Procedures using sedation and analgesics may be performed in a hospital or in an outpatient setting, such as a same-day surgery center, your physician’s office, or a dentist’s office.

How do sedation and analgesia work?

Sedation and analgesics are usually provided through an IV placed in a vein. Depending on the procedure, the level of sedation may range from minimal (you’ll feel drowsy but able to talk) to deep (you probably won’t remember the procedure). Moderate or deep sedation may slow your breathing, and in some cases, you may be given oxygen. Analgesia may also contribute to drowsiness. But even with deep sedation, you won’t be unconscious, as you would be with general anesthesia.

Even with deep sedation, you won’t be unconscious, as you would be with general anesthesia.

Most patients wake up quickly once the procedure is over and the medications are stopped. Possible side effects include headache, nausea, and drowsiness, but you will likely experience fewer effects than you would from general anesthesia — and you’ll probably recover faster and go home sooner.

Sometimes IV sedation and analgesics will be combined with other types of pain control — such as local anesthesia, which involves one or more injections to numb a small area of the body, or regional anesthesia, which numbs a larger part of the body, such as from the waist down.

What are the levels of sedation?

The level of sedation a patient experiences depends on several factors, including the type of procedure you’re having and how your body responds to anesthesia. Your age, medical condition, and health habits may also affect the type of anesthesia you’ll receive. Regardless of the level of sedation, it’s important that a physician anesthesiologist be involved in your anesthesia care. A physician anesthesiologist is a medical doctor who specializes in anesthesia, pain management, and critical care medicine.

The main levels of sedation are:

  • Minimal – Minimal sedation will help you relax, but you will likely be awake. You’ll understand questions your doctor is asking and be able to answer as well as follow directions. This level of sedation is typically used when your doctor needs you to be involved in the procedure.
  • Moderate – You will feel drowsy and may even fall asleep during the procedure. You may or may not remember some of the procedure.
  • Deep – You won’t actually be unconscious, but you’ll sleep through the procedure and probably will have little or no memory of it.



Physician anesthesiologists are highly skilled medical experts. “As a physician anesthesiologist, we have the depth of training and experience to be able to react and save a life.” – Sonya Pease, MD

90,000 Sedatives for end-of-life symptom relief


People with terminal illnesses can have many symptoms at the end of life. These symptoms can include confusion (delirium), anxiety, restlessness, shortness of breath (dyspnea), pain, vomiting, and stress. Medications that can reduce consciousness (sedatives) can help relieve these symptoms when people are close to death.

Treatment with sedatives may differ in the level of sedation (mild, intermediate, and strong) and in duration (intermittent or continuous).

Characteristic studies

We searched international databases in October 2012 and December 2014 for studies of terminally ill adults who needed sedation to control their symptoms. We found 14 studies that included approximately 4,000 people. Studies have compared sedation with no sedation. Most of the people in the study were with cancer (95%). The studies took place in hospices, palliative care centers and at home.

Key findings

Five studies showed that sedation did not fully relieve symptoms of delirium or dyspnea. There was no difference between the groups in terms of other symptoms. There was also no time difference from admission or referral to death.

Only one study reported side effects, but no major problems were found.

Future research should focus on how sedatives affect people’s quality of life, calmness and comfort during the dying phase, and how well sedation controls anxiety symptoms.More side effects should be reported.

Quality of evidence

The studies were not randomized controlled trials (in which people are randomly assigned to one of two or more treatment groups), and therefore we rated the quality of the evidence as low.

Sedatives and tonics

Recently, mass studies have noted an increase in the level of psychopathological disorders.The current situation is aggravated by various socio-psychological and biological factors (socio-economic problems, global information overload, chronic fatigue, ecological situation, etc.). This leads to increased body fatigue, decreased performance, irritability, tension, anxiety, decreased mood, sleep disturbances, etc.

In the treatment of neurotic conditions, the use of herbal sedatives is effective, characterized by ease of dosage, a minimum of contraindications and side effects.Sedatives have a general sedative effect on the central nervous system. The calming effect is manifested in a decrease in reaction to various external stimuli and a slight decrease in daytime activity.

Preparations of this group regulate the functions of the central nervous system, enhancing the processes of inhibition or lowering the processes of excitation. As a rule, they facilitate the onset and deepen natural sleep, enhance the effect of hypnotics, analgesics and other drugs that depress the central nervous system.

Compared to tranquilizers, herbal sedatives have a less pronounced psychosedative effect, do not have hypnotic and muscle relaxant properties, and do not cause ataxia.With prolonged use of herbal sedatives, mental drug dependence does not develop to them.

Tonic preparations are effective for borderline disorders, weakening of general body functions and severe overstrain. This group includes medicinal products of natural origin. Tonics are most effective in borderline disorders as maintenance therapy. In addition to the nonspecific tonic effect on the central nervous system, these drugs improve endocrine regulation and metabolic processes, and also increase the body’s adaptation to adverse factors.The general tonic effect is expressed in an increase in the tone of the body’s vital activity, accompanied by an increase in appetite, an increase in the tone of hollow organs, and secretion of the digestive tract glands. For the drugs of this group, a mild psychostimulating effect is also characteristic, which is manifested in an improvement in performance. Toning drugs are of little toxicity and are well tolerated by patients, including the elderly.

Sedative drugs – Directory of drugs

Sedatives are drugs that reduce irritability, conflict, nervous tension, providing a slight sedative effect by lowering the excitability of the nervous system.

Despite a wide selection of drugs with a pronounced sedative effect (tranquilizers), sedatives are used very actively, especially with high nervous excitability, irritability, sleep disorders, especially those associated with negative emotions, neurosis-like states that are accompanied by pain in the heart.

In contrast to tranquilizers, sedatives, especially of plant origin, have a less pronounced sedative effect.At the same time, sedatives are well tolerated by patients, they do not have serious negative effects – they do not cause muscle relaxation, gait disturbances, a feeling of lethargy, or a decrease in the speed of mental reactions.

Addiction does not develop to sedatives (reduced effect with prolonged use) and drug dependence (an irresistible need to use the drug again and again).

Because of these advantages, sedatives are widely used throughout the world.

Indications for use

Sedatives are used to treat neurasthenia – conditions that are accompanied by increased irritability, absent-mindedness, conflict, nervous tension.

In addition, sedatives are used in the complex treatment of diseases that are easily exacerbated by stress – angina pectoris (oxygen starvation of the heart), hypertension (persistently high blood pressure), gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer, itchy neurodermatosis (skin diseases that are accompanied by itching), migraines.

In addition, sedatives are used for hysteria, climacteric syndrome, vegetative-vascular dystonia.

Pharmacological action

Sedatives have their effects by reducing the excitability of the cerebral cortex and subcortical structures (in particular, the reticular formation, which is responsible for emotions), enhances the processes of inhibition in the nervous system.

Most sedatives have a mild hypnotic effect, making it easier to fall asleep.In addition, sedatives eliminate vasospasm (heart, brain), which leads to their expansion and increased blood flow.

Classification of sedatives

By origin, sedatives that are widely used in clinical practice are grouped into the following classes:

  • herbal preparations: valerian extract, motherwort tincture, peony tincture, hawthorn tincture, passionflower extract, mint herb, lemon balm herb and combinations thereof;
  • synthetic drugs: sodium bromide, potassium bromide, magnesium lactate, magnesium sulfate, phenobarbital.

In addition, many psychoactive substances are capable of sedating and reducing irritability. These drugs include anxiolytics (tranquilizers), antidepressants, some antipsychotics, as well as antiarrhythmic and antihypertensive drugs (for example, the β-blocker propranolol) and antihistamines antiallergic drugs (for example, diphenhydramine).

Basics of sedation

Sedatives are safe even with long-term use, so they are classified as over-the-counter drugs.

The effectiveness of sedatives does not decrease with prolonged use. There is no physical and mental dependence to these drugs – an irresistible need to take them constantly.

Sedatives usually do not reduce daytime performance, moreover, they can even increase it, relieving excessive irritability and emotional stress.

Features of the treatment of neurasthenia

Tinctures and alcoholic extracts contain ethanol, which causes the main side effects – general weakness, fatigue, indifference to the environment, weakening of memory, drowsiness.

In addition, alcohol-containing sedatives reduce physical and mental abilities, so they are not recommended for patients whose work requires quick mental, behavioral and emotional reactions – drivers, dispatchers, operators, and so on, as well as people with alcohol dependence. Such patients need to choose drugs without alcohol in the composition, for example, dry plant extracts or combinations thereof.

All sedatives enhance the effect of other drugs that depress the central nervous system – antipsychotic, tranquilizing, anticonvulsants.

Most sedatives cause a decrease in libido and potency.

Overview of sedatives

Sedatives (sedatives) is a group of drugs aimed at stabilizing mental health, reducing emotional stress, they affect higher nervous activity. Together with some other drugs (neuroleptics, tranquilizers, antidepressants, psychostimulants), they are all included in the general group – psychotropic drugs that have an effect on mental functions and the emotional state of a person.

Mechanism of action
The action is based on the effect of inhibition of the nervous system. Sedatives can inhibit the transmission of nervous excitement, reduce the sensitivity of nerve endings, thereby disrupting the mechanisms that form restless sensations (fear, excitement, anxiety).
Transmission of impulses in the nervous system is possible due to the work of neurotransmitters. Mediators are chemicals that are formed in nerve endings and provide the transfer of excitation from one neuron to another, or from a nerve ending to a working organ (muscle fiber, glandular cell).The very process of transmission of nerve impulses of excitation with the help of mediators occurs in synapses. Mediators are located in small vesicles of the presynaptic region. When the nerve fiber is excited, the bubbles burst, the mediators come out and end up in the synaptic cleft, which is filled with a fluid similar in composition to blood plasma. The mediator diffuses through the gap and acts on the neighboring postsynaptic membrane of the cell, causing its excitation. The postsynaptic membrane is very sensitive to the action of mediators.Mediators also transmit inhibition impulses (for example, acetylcholine, norepinephrine, dopamine, GABA, etc.). So, antipsychotics ( antipsychotics ) block dopamine receptors, and antidepressants affect serotonin receptors. The nervous system is formed by a huge number of neurons. To exert the desired action on a specific neuron, that is, to act selectively, is beyond the power of any sedative. Therefore, when taken, various side effects occur (drowsiness, heart rhythm disturbances, mood changes, hypertension, etc.). That is why the use of sedatives is allowed only after consulting a doctor.
There are characteristics of sedatives for men and women. Real life is filled with stressful situations. The rhythm of life dictates increased stress on both the body of women and men. However, according to research results, women are more emotional, and are forced to use sedatives much more often than men (about 2 times more). This is due to the hormonal background of the woman.A wide range of sedatives can be used by both adults and children. It is important to remember that the nervous system in children is not fully formed, therefore, plants are more often prescribed for children. The children’s nervous system is sensitive to emotional overload, therefore, first of all, it is necessary to localize the cause of stress, and only then use sedatives.

Which shapes to choose?
There are many forms of sedatives on the market.For children under one year old, drugs are more often prescribed in syrup, suspensions, three-year-olds can be herbal teas and infusions. Tablets are prescribed for children from 6 years old, and capsules from 10-12 years old. There are no restrictions on the use of sedatives by gender. They can only be medical contraindications. For example, it is possible for pregnant women to use mild herbal sedatives. Stronger drugs can have a negative effect on the fetus, so the potential benefits and risks to the baby must be balanced.

Classification of sedatives
1. Low-dose barbiturates: phenobarbital.
2. Benzodiazepines: diazepam, phenazepam.
3. Salts of hydrobromic acid-bromides Na +, K +, Ca ++.
4. Herbal preparations: valerian, motherwort, passionflower, peony.
5. Combined preparations: valocordin, valocarmid, valosedan, corvalol, valoserdin, varvaldin, extroveral, nervoflux, novo-passit, persen, sanosan.
6. H1-antihistamines: diphenhydramine, promethazine, chloropyramine.

1. The history of the use of barbiturates is more than a hundred years old. Currently, they are used extremely rarely, as they have been proven to cause severe addiction and severe side effects.

2. Benzodiazepines are psychoactive substances that have a hypnotic, sedative, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant effect. Their mechanism of action is associated with the inhibition of GABA. Some benzodiazepines are prescribed as hypnotics, as antiepileptic drugs.Most often they are used to relieve mental anxiety, insomnia, and physical withdrawal (alcohol, drugs). However, with prolonged use, they are addictive and physically addictive.

3. Salts of hydrobromic acid-bromides Na +, K +, Ca ++.
They reduce irritability, improve mood, normalize sleep, and are therefore used for various neurotic diseases. Bromides are converted in the body into bromine ions, which balance the processes of excitation and inhibition in the body. The main disadvantage of these drugs is the side effect, the so-called bromism, when the body is intoxicated with bromine. Bromism is manifested by apathy, drowsiness, memory loss, as well as a runny nose, cough, and skin rash. Therefore, drugs in this group are taken only on the recommendation of a doctor, strictly adhering to the regimen and dosages.

4. If we talk about herbal sedatives – valerian, motherwort, peony, lily of the valley, lemon balm, St. John’s wort, mint, they have a rather mild effect, but do not cause drowsiness and are taken independently (dispensed without a doctor’s prescription.Herbal sedatives include natural raw materials that have been proven to be effective. They can be included both in the combined fees and used as single-component drugs.

Passion flower extract has long been used as a means of reducing anxiety, hyperexcitability, and improving sleep.

Valerian officinalis extract reduces the excitability of the central nervous system. It accumulates as a sedative and has a beneficial effect on the quality and duration of sleep.

Hop extract has a mild sedative effect and contains an antioxidant rutin.

In many countries, the share of herbal medicines on the pharmaceutical markets is huge, from 25-40% (for example, in Germany, more than 25%). According to numerous surveys, 1 in 5 people take an herbal medicinal sedative.

It is important to remember that a lack of magnesium in the body leads to sleep disturbance, anxiety, anxiety, overexcitation, nervousness, fear, twitching of the eyelids.And during stress, the body consumes this microelement in an increased amount, therefore, the use of magnesium and its combinations has a beneficial effect on the state of the higher parts of the nervous system. In cases of depression and severe mental conditions, drugs with a more pronounced effect are still used. effect, however, they should be used with caution.

5. Complex sedatives
In modern society, we need to normalize sleep, and stop anxiety, and cope with anxiety, and in general “gather us in a bunch. “This is by virtue of complex sedatives.

Let’s take a quick tour of the modern and best-selling ones:
It is a non-addictive anxiolytic and tranquilizer. Its main action is aimed at suppressing anxiety, improving mood, in addition, it has a stimulating effect on memory and thinking. In adults, it is used to relieve anxiety symptoms, to normalize sleep. The drug is approved for use only by adults, and is also contraindicated in pregnant and lactating women.

Persen is a herbal preparation with complex action. Has a sedative effect, improves mood and normalizes sleep, a slight antispasmodic effect. It is indicated for: mild neuroses, insomnia, anxiety, depression, to relieve withdrawal of potent drugs, psychosomatic disorders. The great advantages of this drug are the absence of addiction to it, and the absence of such side effects as decreased attention, lethargy.Of the shortcomings, one can single out the individual intolerance of its individual components and the development of constipation during long courses. Approved for use in children from 3 years old (Persen forte from 12 years old).

Drops Herbion
Refers to a herbal complex preparation, in the composition of valerian (sedative effect on the central nervous system and autonomic nervous system), hop cones, essential oils of peppermint, lemon balm. Herbion is indicated for increased excitability of the nervous system, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, increased mental and physical stress.Due to the fact that the base is alcoholic, you cannot use it while driving.

Complex sedative of plant origin with in combination with a semi-synthetic substance – guaifenesin. Works both for situational and course reception. It is indicated in the treatment of neurasthenia, anxiety, fear, irritability, hyperexcitability, in complex therapy in menopause in women, in a complex treatment of allergic diseases (for example, psoriasis).Acts quickly, the effect occurs within 30 minutes. Unfortunately, it can reduce attention, therefore it is limited to reception from drivers. Allowed for children over 12 years old.

The combined composition of the drug has a calming, vasodilating and antispasmodic effect. It is used for neurotic conditions characterized by vascular spasms, increased heart rate.
There are modern nootropic sedatives, such as Phenibut, Pantogam, which improve mental processes, nutrition of brain tissue, increase concentration, and are used both in children’s practice and in adults.These medicines are prescribed by a doctor and are available with a prescription.

6. H1-antihistamines: promethazine is a phenothiazine derivative, similar in structure and properties to dietazine and chlorpromazine. Pharmacological action: antiallergic, sedative, antipruritic, antihistamine, antiemetic, hypnotic, local anesthetic. Promethazine blocks H1-histamine receptors by a competitive mechanism, affects the enzyme histamine-N-methyltransferase, thereby blocking the central H3-histamine receptors. There is a depression of the central nervous system, as a result of which a sedative, antipsychotic, hypnotic effect occurs. The agent penetrates the blood-brain barrier , affects the development of the fetus.
As a result of all of the above, I would like to note that taking sedatives in our “turbulent” time is a forced measure of protection and assistance to the body in order to survive! Many people used to consider going to a doctor, psychologist or psychotherapist as shameful and unnecessary. While now, it is considered normal to have a family psychologist and consult with him on any issues.In my opinion, the main thing is that there is a peaceful, calm, benevolent atmosphere in the family, and in what ways this is achieved is not at all important.

Agree, if mom or dad are in constant stress, they are unlikely to be able to give something good to their children, teach them to adapt to living conditions, resist stress, learn to get out of conflict situations, and most importantly, learn to relax and cope with psychological overload.

To restore emotional balance, doctors recommend rest, love sports, have a hobby, avoid worries, and eat right.But in modern society, these simple prescriptions are difficult, and sometimes impossible, so taking sedatives is a necessary measure.

Modern pharmacology offers a range of non-prescription sedatives to choose from. In addition to the rapid onset of the effect, the safety of use, it is necessary to understand that any drug acts in a time period, has side effects and contraindications. There is no such “golden pill” that could solve all the issues, it is necessary for a person to show patience and work on himself.It is important to consult with a specialist before taking sedatives, because it is also necessary to take into account the individual characteristics of the body, as well as compatibility with other drugs (often sedatives are used in addition to the underlying disease).

And the main thing to remember is that we can work with our emotions, and sedatives deprive our body of help and support for a while (we are not talking about severe forms of mental states, hereditary predisposition of the body).

overview of herbal sedatives

According to WHO statistics, even in a completely prosperous European Union, almost a quarter of the population suffers from neuroses. Therefore, it is quite logical that in our country, and even in crisis years, sedatives are off-season blockbusters on pharmacy shelves.

Sedatives – oversupply

Demand creates supply, and in this segment it is traditionally rich: today, numerous herbal remedies, amino acid complexes, and prescription “synthetics” are offered as mood normalizers.At the same time, herbal sedatives traditionally compete both with each other and with synthetic sedatives. For many years, one of the most popular ways of dealing with competitors among manufacturers has been the “green” strategy: according to their logic, since we are talking about herbal medicines, they have a priori advantages. Herbal sedatives are touted as having a “high safety profile” and “gentle effect” – compared, of course, with “dangerous chemicals. “In other words, “nature gives us the best tranquility.” The counter-argument in this competitive war is usually the clarification that the indications for prescribing herbal sedatives are mainly mild clinical forms of neuroses and stress. They say that they cannot cope with complex forms.

Plants in sedatives are not always friendly with each other

In fact, drugs based on medicinal plants are often no less effective than their synthetic alternatives It is no coincidence that the pharmaceutical industry still uses plant derivatives as active pharmaceutical ingredients in about 30% of products.

So many of the herbal remedies for sedation perfectly cope with increased anxiety and nervousness, normalize the function of the central nervous system, and have a positive effect on the quality of sleep. It is not surprising that among all brands on the domestic market, the TOP of the most frequently recommended sedatives include phytopreparations such as Sedasen, Persen®, Novo-Passit, Sedavit®, Alora® and Project

Moreover, complex herbal sedatives are more common than monopreparations. For example, some popular herbal herbal remedies include a whole field bouquet: valerian, echinacea herb, lemon balm and motherwort, elderberry, hops, peppermint, rose hips and hawthorns, St. John’s wort …

At first glance, the combination of several plants with sedative properties in one preparation is a justified approach: after all, if lemon balm, peppermint, and valerian sedate perfectly, then why not combine them and thus enhance the effect? The difficulty lies in the fact that each plant contains many bioactive compounds that can interact with each other – and somewhat unexpectedly.Now the problems of interaction of medicinal plants are being actively discussed, and it is important to take into account the potential risk of developing adverse reactions that can occur in herbal preparations as often as when using synthetic ones.

An example of a successful sedative combination is the traditional combination of valerian and lemon balm, which complement each other’s effectiveness – this duo has been studied enough and is considered safe in combating symptoms such as nervous agitation, irritability, stress, anxiety, sleep disturbances, increased heart rate and anxiety.

Separately, it is worth highlighting sedatives of herbal origin, which include phototoxic St. John’s wort (“Deprim”, “Gelarium ® Hypericum”, “Life 900”): although they are positioned as sedatives, they are still mostly antidepressants. In fact, St. John’s wort is a plant that has long been used in both official and traditional medicine for the treatment of various psychovegetative disorders, which are accompanied by apathy, emotional depression, causeless anxiety, irritability and anxiety.

Tincture sedatives require caution in dose

Various tinctures remain popular and quite in demand “among the people”, so when requesting a herbal sedative, one should not discount the “ancient potions”. For example, if a visitor asks to pick up a herbal-based sedative, but at the same time, in addition to nervousness, also complains of hypotension, increased fatigue and fatigue, we can recommend ginseng tincture, the intake of which increases efficiency and blood pressure, reduces fatigue. Lemongrass tincture has approximately the same properties. Side effects of these herbal preparations can be overexcitation of the central nervous system.

If the main goal of treatment is still to reduce excitability, a peony tincture is perfect, which is indicated for nervousness, sleep disturbances, increased nervous excitability, and vegetative-vascular problems. Valerian tincture also has a pronounced soothing effect. However, the last two drugs in case of overdose can cause decreased performance, drowsiness, psychoemotional depression.

Sedatives: Extended Pharmaceutical

How should a pharmacist behave when he dispenses OTC sedatives to a customer at a pharmacy? First of all, honestly remind that plants are the same drugs as “chemistry”, and you should not count on an instant mega-effect. But as a light sedative herbal remedy – the recommendation is more than justified.

With such a request, it is highly desirable (if there is time) to find out what state the visitor is in.

There are three stages of neurotic disorder, and the basis for the recommendation of herbal sedatives can be:

  • the first , which is characterized by increased excitability, irritability and sleep disturbances;
  • at second stage a person has a headache, he is able to work only in the first half of the day, then defense mechanisms are activated, lethargy and drowsiness appear. Memory deteriorates, exacerbating emotions.At this stage, it is difficult to manage with one motherwort – you should pay attention to combined sedatives;
  • third stage – a person becomes lethargic, indifferent to everything, has difficulty communicating with other people, frequent insomnia and poor general health are observed. In this case, along with the recommendation of an OTC drug, it is imperative to refer the visitor to a doctor.

Common phytopreparations: spectrum of influence on psychoemotional symptoms

Drug / symptom Apathy Stress Insomnia Excitation Stagnation Fatigue
Sedavit + + + + +
Novo-Passit + + + + +
Doppelherz Nervotonik + + Normalizes Normalizes Normalizes +
Persen 0 0 + + 0
Menovalene 0 0 + + 0
Phytosed 0 0 + + +
Dormiplant 0 0 + + 0

It is worth remembering that although the majority of consumers prefer herbal remedies as “the safest, because they are natural”, this belief, unfortunately, does not always correspond to reality. The list of potential side effects of herbal sedatives is no less impressive than the synthetic ones, and the danger of overdose is almost identical. Be sure to remind your visitors of this!

90,000 Stress Relief for Dogs

Solution to Core Problem: Stress in Dogs

Stress – feelings of nervousness, anxiety, or apprehension – is at the root of most behavioral problems in dogs.Sometimes anxiety is completely normal, but becomes a problem when it is severe or frequent enough to adversely affect the quality of life of a pet or its owner. If your dog is under stress, you may notice a combination of the following symptoms:

  • Tense muscles

  • Shiver

  • Urination, defecation in the wrong place

  • The dog crouches close to the ground or tries to hide in a “safe” place

  • Eyes wide open

  • Flattened ears

  • Destruction of toys, shoes and other items

  • Sudden aggression

  • Decreased appetite

Stress can be caused by a move, a change of scenery, loud noises, a prolonged absence of the owner of the house, the appearance of a new animal or person in the house.

Dealing with stress in dogs

Behavior modification is the best way to get rid of anxiety in animals. Protocols usually involve teaching dogs to remain calm when exposed to mild versions of their triggers, encouraging them, and gradually increasing the intensity of the stimuli while the dog remains calm.

However, dogs can sometimes find it difficult to remain calm even under the most mild stressors.This is a time when medications and other anxiety-relieving foods become invaluable, and is something we recommend to give your dog in a stressful situation.

What is a sedative?

A sedative is a medicine (used by humans or animals) that helps them relax and reduce anxiety. Unlike a real anesthetic, which makes the animal extremely sleepy and unresponsive, the sedative allows the dog to be calm, while at the same time allowing the dog to be aware of what is happening and interact with the world around him.Sedatives are generally NOT addictive.

What sedatives are there?

Tricyclic antidepressants

Aggression or psychogenic itching is a direct indication for prescribing drugs in this group. Application is possible only under the supervision of a veterinarian due to frequent side effects: refusal to eat and increased thirst.

An example is Amitriptyline, the course of which is from one month.The effect is not noticeable immediately, only after 3-4 weeks. It is also necessary to regularly monitor the function of hematopoiesis – donating blood for a general clinical analysis, since tricyclic antidepressants can suppress the function of the red bone marrow.


Acepromazine is the most commonly prescribed oral sedative for dogs. It is a member of the phenothiazine class of sedatives and acts primarily by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain, thereby suppressing certain brain functions.Unfortunately, acepromazine tablets can have very different effects. Some dogs may not appear sedated at all, while others are overly calm, even with similar doses of the drug. In addition, the onset and duration of the effect can be variable and difficult to predict.

Potentially the best option is to inject a liquid form of acepromazine for injection between the dog’s gums and cheek. The medication is absorbed through the mucous membranes of the oral cavity and provides a more reliable sedative effect.Regardless of how acepromazine is administered in at-risk animals, side effects such as low blood pressure and seizures are possible. That is why the drug is recommended to be used only in a veterinary clinic.


Gabapentin. It is an anticonvulsant and analgesic drug used for people and animals for nervous pain. In doses exceeding the usual ones used for pain syndrome, it causes relaxation and drowsiness.Gabapentin can be used as a tablet or liquid. Safe for almost any dog, can be used for sedating young and old animals.


Eliminate feelings of anxiety and fear. In case of overdose, food refusal and apathy may occur. The main substance from the group of barbiturates, which is used in veterinary medicine, is phenobarbital. It is part of such drugs as Vetspokoin and Stop Stress.


Benzodiazepines are most commonly used in veterinary medicine.They have a calming and hypnotic effect on the dog’s body. The drug is prescribed only by a veterinarian in serious cases of prolonged stressful situations. This kind of medication quickly relieves the symptoms of anxiety, but is addictive, and the effect of the action wears off in a short time. Examples of such drugs: Lorazepam, Diazepam.

Amino Acids

Safe dietary supplements based on the amino acid tryptophan help pets cope with low stress levels.An example of such a medicine would be Trinorm tablets.

Plant-based products

Natural herbal sedatives have few side effects, but not all animals work. Simultaneous use with other sedatives is unacceptable. The drugs that are most often prescribed to animals: tablets and drops Cat Bayun and Fitex.


Pheromones are substances that provide communication at the level of subtle odors that are available only to animals of the same species.That is, a cat, rabbit, or human cannot sense the dog’s pheromones. To eliminate anxiety and stress in dogs, synthetic analogs of this substance are used, which is secreted by a lactating bitch. Pheromones are absolutely safe, have no side effects, but not all owners are happy with the result of their use. The most famous drugs for dogs: Adaptil, Sentry, Zilken.

How to calm your dog at home?

Owners looking for a sedative to give their dogs at home are somewhat limited in their choices.There are many over-the-counter medications available in various forms for treating mild anxiety, including:

  • Spot-on-preparations for application to the withers. No Stress Beaphar. The effect lasts for 7 days.

  • Diffusers and sprays . Adaptil, Beaphar. The effect is achieved quickly. You can spray the product in the air or apply to your pet’s bed. No direct contact with the dog required.

  • Drops for oral administration . Stop stress, Fitex, Vetspokoin. It is not recommended to add the medication to water, but it can be applied to food if the dog is likely to eat the entire serving.

  • Collars . Sentry, Cani Comfort, Adaptil. Collars are based on pheromones, the effect starts in 15 minutes, the duration with constant wear is 4 weeks.

  • Gel Sileo .Applied to the dog’s gums, sedation is achieved in a short time and lasts for several hours.

  • Tablets . Stop stress, Uspokoin, GIGI Da-ba Relax Plus, Vetspokoin, Zilken.

All drugs with different active ingredients. Before use, be sure to read the instructions.

What are the benefits of sedation?

Sedatives are cheap, easy to give, and reduce stress for you, veterinarians, and most importantly, your pet.Sedatives also protect against bites and scratches from panicked animals. Sedatives soothe animals, help them stay in place and prevent them from being scared or hurting themselves.

What are the disadvantages of sedatives?

Sedatives don’t work as well if administered after the pet is already aroused, so most dogs are better off taking a sedative before possible stress. The drugs require you to monitor your pet for several hours after administration.Some medications have side effects such as excessive lethargy, refusal to feed, and decreased blood pressure. That is why it is better to deal with the selection of the drug and its dosage in conjunction with the veterinarian.

Sedatives are not something to be afraid or anxious about. There is nothing wrong with giving or offering a sedative to your beloved pet. Modern medicines are safe, effective and do not bring great losses.They are easy to give and non-addictive.

If you have any questions about sedatives or think they might help your pet, our veterinarians can determine which sedative is best for your dog, depending on the problem to be addressed and the general condition. your pet’s health.

Whichever medication is prescribed, be sure to follow the dosage directions strictly, never give more sedative than recommended, and talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have.

Specialists of the veterinary clinic “in Dobrye Ruki” work around the clock and seven days a week. Call, or come to the reception!

Author: Kulakov Konstantin Igorevich

90,000 Anxiolytics, sedatives, hypnotics what is

This is a very diverse group of drugs that have one thing in common – they have a calming effect.

Anxiolytics (tranquilizers) are used mainly for neurotic disorders, accompanied by mental stress, anxiety and fear.At the same time, many of them also have a hypnotic effect. Some of them also have an anticonvulsant effect. For different drugs of this subgroup, these effects are expressed to varying degrees, however, in high doses, they all show the full range of their capabilities, which is why overdose of these drugs is dangerous.
One of the side effects of anxiolytics is a slowdown in mental activity, which manifests itself in a decrease in concentration (therefore, they should not be used when driving and in those areas of activity where a quick reaction is needed).In addition, long-term use of these drugs is addictive (see tolerance ), which is manifested in the cessation of the effect of the usual dose. Increasing the dose to a certain limit is permissible, but exceeding it is fraught with significant dangers (poisoning with tranquilizers is one of the most common reasons for hospitalization in intensive care units of toxicological hospitals). Therefore, these drugs, for example afobazole, can be used only under the supervision of a physician.

Sedatives have long been used to treat neurotic disorders.Compared to anxiolytics, they have less pronounced sedative and hypnotic effects, at the same time, their side effects are much less pronounced. They enhance the effect of sleeping pills, deepening sleep and facilitating its onset. It is often enough to take a sedative without resorting to tranquilizers. Sedatics include primarily herbal preparations based on valerian, motherwort, lily of the valley and other herbs. In addition, bromides (colloquially “bromine”) have a sedative effect.Despite the presence of tranquilizers, sedatives continue to enjoy great success with doctors and patients, since they are devoid of the side effects characteristic of tranquilizers (drowsiness, lethargy, coordination disorders), as well as the phenomena of mental and physical dependence. In addition, all drugs in this group, as opposed to tranquilizers, are available in pharmacies without a prescription, and therefore are very affordable.