Pharmacology of Sedatives, Hypnotics, and Anxiolytics

  • Jewell W. Sloan
  • Elzbieta P. Wala


This chapter is concerned with the pharmacology of agents that are used therapeutically for the treatment of a variety of disorders including anxiety, sleep, and psychosomatic disorders, and for sedation, skeletal muscle relaxation, and for the treatment of epilepsy. The distinct classification of these agents as sedatives, hypnotics, and anxiolytics is clouded since they have overlapping pharmacologie activities. For example, some agents, particularly certain benzodiazepines, can be used therapeutically either to treat the aforementioned conditions or achieve the effects mentioned to one degree or another. The drugs that are discussed include the benzodiazepines (full and partial agonists, full and partial inverse agonists, and antagonists), buspirone, zolpidem, selected barbiturates, and other sedative-hypnotics of diverse chemical structures.


Anxiety Disorder Inverse Agonist Abstinence Syndrome Central Nervous System Depressant Peliosis Hepatis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jewell W. Sloan
    • 1
  • Elzbieta P. Wala
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyUniversity of Kentucky College of MedicineLexingtonUSA

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