Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

Sedatives are preparations used to restore mental balance. They are taken to relieve stress and nervous tension. What are the types of sedative lakes? Are herbal tranquilizers effective? Which prescription tranquilizers are there? How do they work, are they safe and when can you get addicted to them?

Sedative drugsaccording to some they work, others say they are on the contrary. There is no doubt, however, that many people reach for them. Why?

Stress is an inseparable element of everyone's life in the modern world. We are exposed to its effects from an early age, and the older we are, the more and more stressful situations usually arise. Unfortunately, not everyone can deal with them on their own. Some of us try to use over-the-counter plant preparations in difficult times, others go to the doctor for a prescription.

Remember, however, that sedative herbal remedies are effective in treating light conditions. The remaining ones require a medical consultation and / or prescription of pharmacological agents.

Herbal sedatives

Herbal medications for sedation can take the form of capsules, syrups, drops, teas.

The most commonly used plants to soothe our shattered nerves are:

  • lemon balm ( Melissa officinalis ) - has an extremely soothing effect on the nervous system, helps with insomnia, and also calms down and calms down in situations of excessive stimulation
  • flesh-colored passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) - recommended primarily to people who have problems with insomnia, as well as for heart problems caused by nervousness
  • herb motherwort ( Herba leonuri ) - strengthens the heart muscle, on which life under constant stress, unfortunately, has a lot to do with it, it lowers blood pressure and soothes the nervous system, helps with sleep disorders
  • hops ( Humulus lupulus ) - especially recommended for women going through the menopause, as well as for nervousness, hyperactivity, irritability
  • valerian ( Valeriana officinalis ) - more commonly known under the name - valerian, its great popularity proves its effectiveness, it is most oftenused calming herb, recommended for people suffering from heart neurosis, sleep problems, as well as in anxiety states
  • medical lavender ( Lavandula officinalis ) - helps with anxiety, trouble sleeping, and reduces the hyperactivity of the central nervous system

Herbs for sedation have been used successfully for centuries due to their availability and safety of use, but they should not be taken by pregnant women or young children without consulting a doctor. This mainly applies to syrups, which are prepared on the basis of ethyl alcohol.

A significant group of available herbal preparations with a calming effect are mixtures of several herbs. They are also enriched with vitamins and other compounds that positively affect our nervous system. The most popular are:

  • magnesium
  • vitamin B6
  • vitamin B12

They support cognitive functions, reduce the effects of fatigue, improve concentration and make it easier to fall asleep.

Some preparations also contain L-tryptophan. The transformation of tryptophan is a source of important compounds, incl. serotonin and niacin, as well as melatonin, which is essential for the regulation of sleep and wakefulness.

Prescription tranquilizers: benzodiazepines

If we are not convinced about the sedative properties of herbs, we need immediate and definitely stronger effects of drugs, or we feel that we cannot cope with the situation with over-the-counter preparations, then we should consult a specialist.

The doctor will select an individual form of treatment, taking into account all other medications and supplements taken by the patient, past and coexisting diseases, as well as the severity of symptoms.

Benzodiazepines are the most commonly used sedative medications today. They have an anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, sedative and hypnotic effect. They also relax the muscles.

The following drugs are distinguished among benzodiazepines:

  • anxiolytic (e.g. alprazolam)
  • strong anticonvulsants (e.g. diazepam)
  • sedative and hypnotic (e.g. estazolam)

Benzodiazepines are commonly used for the acute treatment of anxiety, insomnia, alleviation of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, postoperative sedation, and the treatment of increased muscle tone of various etiologies, and as an adjuvant in the treatment of some types of epilepsy.

Prescription sedatives and addiction

The use of benzodiazepines in chronic treatment should be avoided(i.e. long-term), due to the increase in tolerance and the associated decrease in therapeutic efficacy.

Patients need more and more doses to achieve the same effect. Taking this substance daily for one month can already lead to a strong addiction, both mental and physical, especially in people who are prone to addiction.

Benzodiazepines should be used with particular caution in the elderly as they reduce psychomotor performance, which may result in an increased risk of falls, possible memory impairment and significant cognitive impairment.

After discontinuation of benzodiazepines, the phenomenon of the so-called rebound - symptoms that were supposed to be relieved by the drug come back intensified. This makes the withdrawal process more difficult.

  • What to do if, however, it becomes addicted?

Withdrawal of benzodiazepines must only take place with the consent and under strict supervision of a physician, most often in hospital conditions, due to the risk of withdrawal symptoms that are dangerous to he alth and life, such as:

  • insomnia
  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • eating disorders
  • anxiety
  • vomiting
  • muscle spasms
  • seizures

Poisoning with sedative medications

Symptoms of benzodiazepine poisoning are:

  • weakness
  • sleepiness
  • coma
  • nystagmus
  • double vision
  • breathing disorders
  • convulsions

Acute poisoning is fortunately very rarely fatal, but it is a significant burden for the whole organism, especially for the liver. However, it should be remembered that drug poisoning caused by mixing benzodiazepines with alcohol or other sedative drugs can be life-threatening.

Saving the patient after taking too much of the drug consists in administering the aforementioned flumazenil - if the patient regains consciousness, the doctor has almost 100% certainty that the poisoning was caused by benzodiazepines and not by other agents. It should be added, however, that the detoxification itself is based on classical methods, i.e., for example, on diuresis

Sedative drugs: side effects

The most common side effects, the frequency and intensity of which depends on the dose taken, include:

  • sleepiness
  • drop in blood pressure
  • memory impairment
  • motor coordination disorders
  • general weakness
  • nausea
  • libido reduction
  • skin reactions, e.g. rash, erythema

Sedatives and pregnancy

When used during pregnancy, they cross the placenta and, unfortunately, may lead to a cleft palate in the fetus. When given immediately before delivery, they may contribute to breathing disorders in a child. Therefore, pregnant women or women planning pregnancy, taking drugs from this group, must be under the constant care of a specialist.

Prescription sedatives: barbiturates

Barbiturates - as sleeping pills - are used in psychiatry. In small doses, they cause a feeling of relaxation, but in increased doses, they can lead to loss of motor coordination and disturbed consciousness, as well as - paradoxically - agitation. They should not be mixed with alcohol as it enhances their effects, which can lead to unconsciousness, coma and even death.

Prescription sedatives: hydroxyzine

Hydroxyzine is used as a sedative in psychiatry. In states of anxiety and tension, it inhibits the activity of the nervous system, giving you relaxation. Hydroxyzine can be used in children.

Side effects of its use are most often:

  • sleepiness
  • dry mouth

They may also appear:

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • hypersensitivity reactions
  • dizziness
  • urinary retention

What to remember when taking sedation medications?

All preparations with sedative properties should be used according to the doctor's instructions, and in the case of over-the-counter preparations - with the indications given in the leaflet.

It is also worth remembering that hydroxyzine cannot be taken in parallel with antibiotics.

Contraindications to the use of sedative medications

Contraindications for taking this type of medication are:

  • brain damage
  • allergic reactions or hypersensitivity to the active substance
  • alcoholism
  • liver and kidney damage

You should monitor your he alth and well-being while taking sedatives (especially prescription medications), and report any disturbing symptoms to your doctor immediately.

It is also worth taking care of a hygienic lifestyle, reducing stress factors as much as possible, psychotherapy led by a specialist may also be a support.

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!