What Are Tranquilizers And How Do They Really Work?

Yashasvi SaxenaAug 20 . 7 min read

Did you ever wonder what made you unconscious during your surgeries? Or, what made your bulldog have such a smooth-going veterinarian session? You have, that’s why you landed here, right?

Well, to your relief, you’ve stepped onto the right stairs! The next few segments will quench you with all you want to absorb. And, in addition, you’ll know how to differentiate between the two neural depressants, which are often confused to be the same.

What are Tranquilizers?

Those drugs. that make you flee away from the world and made your pain go away in a swish, are tranquilizers, or, as some spell it, tranquillizers. Lemme hit you up with a tranquilizer trivia! The word Tranquilizer was first used by F.F. Yonkman in 1953 when he was investigating the results of a drug named Reserpine on animals. The word originates from the word tranquility, as it gives peace to the person or animal who consumes it.

Tranquilizer Meaning    

Okay, so what are tranquilizers? 

Let’s dig into the medical terms to define tranquilizer and find Tranquilizer Meaning. The medical definition of tranquilizer states- ‘Pharmacologically, a tranquilizer is a drug that treats anxiety and calms the consumer. It is used to treat anxiety, fear, as a painkiller, and disturbances of the mind.

Tranquilizers Example

Tranquilizers are mainly categorized into two categories:

  • Minor Tranquilizers (anxiolytics)

These are used to reduce anxiety. It treats anxiety disorders and symptoms (both physical and psychological) related to it. Minor tranquilizers examples are- Ethanol, Emoxypine, SSRI’s, etc.

  • Major Tranquilizers (antipsychotics)

Presenting it simply, it is used in the treatment of the bipolar disorder. Hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions are some symptoms that are treated by an antipsychotic. Some major tranquilizers examples are- Haloperidol, Pimozide, Perazine, etc. 

How do Tranquilizers work?

Tranquilizers are concerned with our central nervous system. 

They tend to attack our central nervous system and slow down brain activity, which in turn generates a peaceful and calming stimulus in our mind and body. On taking a tranquilizer, our brain produces a neurotransmitter named GABA, which is responsible for making our hyperactive brain slow. This results in organized thoughts, regular sleeping patterns, and reduced delusions.

Where to use a Tranquilizer?

Here’s a list of places where Tranquilizers find its utility:

  1. To treat Anxiety
  2. To treat Insomnia
  3. To stabilize the mental condition
  4. To treat Bipolar Disorder
  5. To treat Suicidal Thoughts
  6. To treat Depression
  7. To make a person calm down without affecting consciousness

What are Sedatives?

Sedatives are drugs that slow down brain activity. In addition to making the consumer calm, they can also be used as general anaesthesia. They have a sleeping effect, thus are used to treat insomnia. Sedatives tend to make the consumer relaxed. In some cases, for example, in surgeries, they are used to make the patient unconscious. They decelerate irritability or excitement of the brain by interacting with the Central Nervous System and agitate its working. It increases GABA activity and thus soothes the consumer.

Available Sedatives Variants            

Sedatives are not only chemically produces but are also present in natural forms. Here’s a categorized list of some common sedatives.

  • Natural Varients

Here’s a list of naturally available sedatives:

  1. Melatonin
  2. Valerian
  3. Chamomile
  4. Kava
  5. Tryptophan
  6. Passionflower
  7. Magnesium
  8. Lavender
  9. Glycine

  • Artificial Varients

             Here’s a list of sedative drugs available out there:

  1. Amytal
  2. Butisol
  3. Nembutal
  4. Seconal
  5. Phenobarbital

How does a Sedative Work?

The working of a sedative is approximately similar to that of a tranquilizer. A sedative also interacts with the Central Nervous System and slows down brain activity.

GABA or Gamma-aminobutyric acid is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for slowing down brain activity.

A Sedative increases GABA activity and blocks the nerves by electrochemical processes so that GABA can interact with them.

Now, due to accelerated GABA and decelerated brain activity, the consumer feels relaxed and calm. Sedatives not only initiate electrochemical processes that produce GABA but also accelerate and facilitate its interaction with the Central Nervous System.

Where to use a Sedative?

 Let us list down some situations where you’re likely to encounter a Sedative in your treatment and prescriptions.

  1. To dull pain stimulus
  2. To treat Anxiety
  3. To treat Insomnia
  4. To produce sleeping effects in surgery 
  5. Reduce Tension
  6. Reduce panic disorders or treat panic attacks
  7. To lose consciousness
  8. To treat depression

Sedatives and Tranquilizers: What is the difference?

We have been talking about sedatives and tranquilizers all along. And, I’m sure you have noticed the innumerable similarities both of these stress-relieving drugs have. From treating insomnia to panic attacks, from depression to anxiety, from interaction with the central nervous system to initiating GABA activities, from treating delusions to disturbing thoughts, you name anything, anyone can point out how alike these drugs are.

As a result of these unending similarities, people often confuse both of these drugs as one and both of these terms as synonymous to each other.

But, these are different. 

These drugs have a minute line between them that differentiates them from one another.

Tranquilizers tend to take away extreme stimulus, that is, reduce brain perception while keeping you conscious. That is, it puts you in a situation where, for example, you’re being operated on. You are seeing everything, but, you just can’t feel the pain and sensation of being operated on. You can also call it a state of conscious numbness.

Sedatives, on the other hand, will make you sleep in the same scenario. That is, they will make you sleep and unconscious of the pain and sensation of being operated on at the same time. 

To sum up, tranquilizers make you numb while keeping you conscious whereas sedatives take away your consciousness.

Side-effects of Sedatives and Tranquilizers

Despite their wondrous effects, sedatives and tranquilizers have their setbacks. The most common side-effect of these drugs is they are addictive.

Here are some other common side effects that the consumers encounter:

  1. Dizziness
  2. Weight Gain
  3. Disorientation
  4. Depression
  5. Dilated Pupils
  6. Suicidal Behaviour
  7. Slurred Speech
  8. Amnesia
  9. Liver Dysfunction
  10. Tissue Damage
  11. Impaired Visual Perception
  12. Trouble In Focusing

One should never take these drugs more than the prescribed dosage. This tends to dependence and addiction to the drug. 

If you suffer from the above symptoms or anyone you know exhibits these, reach out to them and never be shy to talk about it with anyone. 

If you feel addicted to these drugs, reach out to a doctor as soon and fearlessly as possible. Nothing’s wrong with you, it’s just a mental condition. We’re with you!

So, I hope you got all the answers you were searching for. Until next time!

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