Chapter 13.0: Introduction to Sedative Hypnotics

Ch. 13.3: Key Terms

benzodiazepines: a class of (tranquilizer) psychoactive drug used to treat anxiety, seizures, insomnia, or as a muscle relaxant; may be used in managing alcohol withdrawal under medical supervision.

barbiturates: a class of sedative, CNS depressant sleep-inducing drugs, sometimes used for treatment of headache, insomnia, and seizure disorders.

cross-tolerance: developing resistance to a specific substance due to repeated exposure to a similar substance, even if that specific substance was not previously used.

hypnotic: compound that promotes sleep or drowsiness.

non-benzodiazepine sedative hypnotics/sleep medication: drugs with sleep-promoting effects similar to benzodiazepines without or with less significant their common negative effects, such as rebound insomnia (insomnia induces by stopping their use), withdrawal, tolerance, respiratory depression, memory impairment.

sedative: compound producing a calming effect and/or reducing excitability in the central nervous system.

teratogen: any factor that disrupts fetal development, such as chemicals (including alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs), x-rays, viral or bacterial infections.

tranquilizers: medications used to decrease anxiety and increase relaxation/calm state.


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Introduction to Substance Use Disorders by Patricia Stoddard Dare and Audrey Begun is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.