HLTH106_Depressants

HLTH106_Depressants - 10/25/2011 Depressants HLTH106:...

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10/25/2011 1 Depressants HLTH106: October 25, 2011 Depressants Depressants = drugs that slow activity in the central nervous system Include prescription drugs that treat: anxiety (sedatives) insomnia (hypnotics) Rarely produced in clandestine laboratories, usually legitimate pharmaceutical products are diverted to the illicit market History: Before Barbiturates Chloral hydrate and paraldehyde are two of the oldest pharmaceutical depressants still in use today
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10/25/2011 2 Barbiturates Popular in first half of 20 th century In moderate amounts produced state of intoxication similar to alcohol intoxication Slurred speech, loss of motor coordination, impaired judgment etc. Grouped on the basis of the time of onset and duration of activity Low-dose, long-acting forms used for daytime relief of anxiety Higher-dose, shorter-acting forms used to induce sleep Barbiturates Depending on dose, frequency, and duration of use one can rapidly develop Tolerance Physical dependence Psychological dependence With the development of tolerance, the margin of safety between the effective dose and the lethal dose becomes very narrow Concern about the addiction potential of barbiturates and number of fatalities lead to the development of alternative medications Today, less than 10% of all depressant prescriptions are barbituates Benzodiazepines 1960: Introduction of chlordiazepoxide (Librium), the first commercially marketed benzodiazepine Reduces anxiety without inducing sleep Much larger safety margin than barbiturates
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HLTH106_Depressants - 10/25/2011 Depressants HLTH106:...

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