Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 67

sedative - Types of sedatives, Therapeutic use, Sedative dependence, Abuse and overdoses, Sedatives and alcohol, Lookalikes

A drug used to calm anxious patients without actually causing sleep; however, many sedatives in larger doses can be used as sleeping agents. Phenobarbitone was previously the most commonly used sedative, but it has been replaced for this purpose by drugs such as the safer benzodiazepines (eg diazepam). Sedatives used in the 19th-c include bromides, chloral hydrate, and paraldehyde.

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