Anxiolytics, sedatives and hypnotics

Anxiolytics, sedatives and hypnotics

These are drugs used to treat anxiety, insomnia and seizure disorders by depressing the central nervous system. The main classes of drugs are benzodiazepines:

 

 

and barbiturates, which are used as antivonvulsants, pre-op sedatives and analgesics for cluster headaches and migraines.

 

 

These drugs are valuable in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, dysphoria, the effects of stress and feelings of psychological discomfort. The therapeutic value of these drugs has been well established in managing many debilitating anxiety symptoms in the context of both psychiatric disorders and medical illness. However, their toxic effects have also been established, including various withdrawal syndromes, rebound effect (a worsening of the original problem), dependence and tolerance. Used for more than a few weeks, these drugs can become problems in themselves for the user.