Pharmacology of Prescription Hypnotics

  • Wallace B. Mendelson


The hypnotics are a class of drugs whose common feature is a subjective effect—relief from a sensation of poor quality or inadequate quantity of sleep. There drugs possess a variety of chemical structures and have been introduced into medicine over many years. They include the chloral derivatives, introduced in the mid-19th century; the barbiturates, first used medically at the beginning of this century; several classes of heterocyclic compounds introduced since the 1950s; and the benzodiazepines, which have had a meteoric rise in use since the 1960s.


Chloral Hydrate Barbituric Acid Hypnotic Effect Anticonvulsant Property Acute Intermittent Porphyria 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wallace B. Mendelson
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Mental HealthBethesdaUSA

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