central nervous system depressant

central nervous system depressant

any drug that decreases the function of the central nervous system, such as alcohol, tranquilizers, barbiturates, and hypnotics. Such drugs can produce tolerance, physical dependence, and compulsive drug use. These substances depress excitable tissue throughout the central nervous system by stabilizing neuronal membranes, decreasing the amount of transmitter released by the nerve impulse, and generally depressing postsynaptic responsiveness and ion movement. Larger dosages cause anesthesia and potentially fatal respiratory and cardiovascular depression. Central nervous system depressants elevate the seizure threshold and can produce physical dependence in a relatively short period. After alcohol the most abused depressants are the short-acting barbiturates, especially pentobarbital, secobarbital, glutethimide, methyprylon, and methaqualone. These substances have popular street names on the illicit market, such as "reds" (secobarbital) and "yellows" (pentobarbital). Sudden withdrawal of general central nervous system depressants that have been used in high doses for prolonged periods can be fatal to some individuals.

cen·tral ner·vous sys·tem de·pres·sant

(sentrăl nĕrvŭs sistĕm dĕ-presănt)
Medication used to slow down neuronal activity.

Central nervous system (CNS) depressant

Any drug that tends to reduce the activity of the central nervous system. The major drug categories included in this classification are: alcohol, anesthetics, anti-anxiety medications, antihistamines, antipsychotics, hypnotics, narcotics, sedatives, and tranquilizers.
Mentioned in: Methadone
References in periodicals archive ?
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and acts by inhibiting parts of the central nervous system important for sexual arousal and orgasm - respiration, circulation and sensitivity of nerve endings.
He said: "Methadone is a central nervous system depressant.
It is a central nervous system depressant which, when abused, can produce euphoria, intoxication and hallucinations.
DEG, a substance used in antifreeze and as a solvent, is a central nervous system depressant and potent kidney and liver toxin.
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and leads to a decrease in the level of alertness in the brain.
Acute exposure of mice to maneb led to central nervous system depressant effects, including decreased locomotor activity involving the dopaminergic systems (Morato et al.
The agent acts as both a central nervous system depressant and an anti-inflammatory.
Conaway, who allegedly was under the influence of a central nervous system depressant, was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Delgadillo said.
A central nervous system depressant for treating cataplexy in people with narcolepsy.
Benzodiazepines - used for their central nervous system depressant properties, including sedation, facilitation of sleep and anaesthesia.
GHB is a central nervous system depressant that produces euphoria, intoxication and hallucinations.
The drug, sodium oxybate or [gamma]-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), is a central nervous system depressant.

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