tranquilizer

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tranquilizer,

drug whose action calms the central nervous systemnervous system,
network of specialized tissue that controls actions and reactions of the body and its adjustment to the environment. Virtually all members of the animal kingdom have at least a rudimentary nervous system.
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, decreasing emotional agitation without impairing alertness. Tranquilizing drugs differ from hypnotic drugs such as barbituratesbarbiturate
, any one of a group of drugs that act as depressants on the central nervous system. High doses depress both nerve and muscle activity and inhibit oxygen consumption in the tissues. In low doses barbiturates act as sedatives, i.e.
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 in that they do not act on the brain's cortical areas but rather on its lower portions, e.g., the hypothalamushypothalamus
, an important supervisory center in the brain, rich in ganglia, nerve fibers, and synaptic connections. It is composed of several sections called nuclei, each of which controls a specific function.
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. They have been found helpful in the treatment of tension and mental illness. Reserpinereserpine
, alkaloid isolated from the root of the snakeroot plant (Rauwolfia serpentina), a small evergreen climbing shrub of the dogbane family native to the Indian subcontinent.
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, which appeared on the market in 1952, was the first tranquilizer to be used in modern Western medicine. Other drugs used as tranquilizers include the phenothiazinesphenothiazine
, any one of a class of drugs used to control mental disorders. Phenothiazines, along with other antipsychotic, or neuroleptic, drugs are used for such disorders as schizophrenia, paranoia, mania, psychosis resulting from mental deficiency, some forms of senility,
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, meprobamatemeprobamate
, tranquilizing drug that acts as a depressant of the central nervous system and is commonly used in the treatment of anxiety and sometimes schizophrenia. Although meprobamate is chemically unlike barbiturates and has lower toxicity, it has similar pharmacological
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, certain muscle relaxants and anticonvulsants, and lithium carbonate. See also psychopharmacologypsychopharmacology
, in its broadest sense, the study of all pharmacological agents that affect mental and emotional functions. The term is usually applied more specifically to the study and synthesis of drugs used in the control of psychiatric illnesses, namely the
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.

tranquilizer

[′traŋ·kwə‚līz·ər]
(pharmacology)
Any agent that brings about a state of relief from anxiety, or peace of mind.
Any agent that produces a calming or sedative effect without inducing sleep.
Any drug, such as chlorpromazine, used primarily for its calming and antipsychotic effects, or such as meprobamate, used for symptomatic treatment of common psychoneuroses and as an adjunct in somatic disorders complicated by anxiety and tension.

tranquillizer

, tranquilliser (US), tranquilizer
a drug that calms a person without affecting clarity of consciousness
References in periodicals archive ?
Caffeine abusers are also more likely to use minor tranquilizers (Greden, Procter, & Victor, 1981; Greden, Fontaine, Lubetsky, & Chamberline, 1978), sedative-hypnotics, ethonal (Greden, Fontaine, Lubetsky, & Chamberline, 1978), and cigarettes (Greden, Fontaine, Lubetsky, & Chamberline, 1978; Greden, Procter, & Victor, 1981; Gilliland, & Andress, 1981).
The group of minor tranquilizers that are most frequently prescribed for the treatment of anxiety or insomnia in geriatric patients are known as benzodiazepines.