Sedative Hypnotic Class of Medications | Recovery Connection

Sedative Hypnotic Class of Medications | Recovery Connection

Sedative Hypnotic Class of Medications

Sedative hypnotics are a class of medications that target specific neurotransmitters while suppressing the central nervous system. They are commonly prescribed to address anxiety and withdrawal symptoms.

What are Sedative Hypnotics?

Sedative hypnotics are benzodiazepines or barbiturates that work upon specific neurotransmitters in the brain. These drugs suppress the central nervous system. The benzodiazepines and barbiturates are addictive and not recommended for long term use.  Sedative hypnotics act on the GABA A receptors in the brain. Researchers believe that GABA A receptors are responsible for reducing fear and anxiety created when other neurons are overexcited. According to a McGill University article, 40% of the synapses in the human brain work with GABA (the neurotransmitter) and there have GABA receptors. These are known as channel receptors. GABA A is one of the most abundant neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. Within the central nervous system is the cerebral cortex which is responsible for thinking and the interpretation of sensations.

Uses for Sedative Hypnotics

These drugs are commonly used to calm people who are anxious or who are withdrawing from stimulants in drug rehab facilities. They can be used to help induce sleep as a short term solution. Short term acting benzodiazepines are sometimes used to treat jet lag. There are non-benzodiazepines which are also used primarily as sleep aid medications.

Side Effects of the Sedative Hypnotic Class of Drugs

  • Tolerance can develop
  • Memory impairment
  • Confusion
  • Sleepiness
  • Drowsiness

Sedative Hypnotic Drugs

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