sedative

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sedative

 [sed´ah-tiv]
1. allaying irritability, excitement, or nervousness.
2. an agent that does this. The usual mode of action is depression of the central nervous system, which tends to cause lassitude and reduced mental activity. Sedatives are distinct from tranquilizers, which also have a calming effect but unlike sedatives usually do not suppress bodily reactions. Sedatives may be classified according to the organ most affected, such as cardiac, gastric, and so on. Called also calmative.



The degree of relaxation produced varies with the kind of sedative, the dose, the means of administration, and the mental state of the patient. By causing relaxation, a sedative may help a patient go to sleep, but it does not put him to sleep. Medicines that induce sleep are known as hypnotics (some drugs act as sedatives in small amounts and as hypnotics in large amounts). The barbiturates, such as phenobarbital, are the best known sedatives and are also widely used as hypnotics. Other effective sedatives include paraldehyde and chloral hydrate. Sedatives are useful in the treatment of any condition in which rest and relaxation are important to recovery. Some sedatives are also useful in treatment of convulsive disorders or epilepsy and in counteracting the effect of convulsion-producing drugs. They are used to calm patients before childbirth or surgery. Restlessness in invalids, profound grief in adults, and overexcitement in children can be controlled by medically supervised sedation. Because many sedatives are habit-forming, they should be used with caution.

sed·a·tive

(sed'ă-tiv),
1. Calming; quieting.
2. A drug that quiets nervous excitement; designated according to the organ or system on which specific action is exerted; for example, cardiac, cerebral, nervous, respiratory, spinal.
[L. sedativus; see sedation]

sedative

(sĕd′ə-tĭv)
adj.
Having a soothing, calming, or tranquilizing effect; reducing or relieving anxiety, stress, irritability, or excitement.
n.
An agent or a drug having a soothing, calming, or tranquilizing effect.

sedative

Herbal medicine
noun Nervine, see there.
 
Pharmacology
Any agent that acts on the CNS to attenuate responses to stimuli.
 
Activities of sedatives
Anxiolytic, sedative, anticonvulsant.
 
Adverse effects
Ataxia, loss of inhibitions, cardiac and respiratory depression, mental and physical dependence and/or tolerance.
 
Examples
Amobarbital, butabarbital, chlordiazepoxide, diazepam, ethchlorvynol, flurazepam, meprobamate, methyprylon, nordiazepam, pentobarbital, trichlorethanol.

Psychiatry adjective
Calming.

sedative

adjective Calming noun Pharmacology Any agent that acts on the CNS to attenuate responses to stimuli Activities Anxiolytic, sedative, anticonvulsant Adverse effects Ataxia, loss of inhibitions, cardiac and respiratory depression, psychologic and physical dependence, tolerance Examples Amobarbital, butabarbital, chlordiazepoxide, diazepam, ethchlorvynol, flurazepam, meprobamate, methyprylon, nordiazepam, pentobarbital, trichlorethanol

sed·a·tive

(sed'ă-tiv)
1. Calming; quieting.
2. A drug that quiets nervous excitement; designated according to the organ or system on which specific action is exerted, e.g., cardiac, cerebral, nervous, respiratory, spinal.

Sedative

Medicine that has a calming effect and may be used to treat nervousness or restlessness.

sed·a·tive

(sed'ă-tiv)
1. Calming; quieting.
2. Drug that quiets nervous excitement; designated according to organ or system on which specific action is exerted.
References in periodicals archive ?
At a German pharmacy, right next to brands like Sominex and Nytol, you find OTC herbal sedatives containing valerian.
They might benefit from herbal sedatives if they are nervous dogs.