- Most widely used drugs for Sedation.
- Probably work in the limbic system and amygdala of the brain, where fear, anxiety and apprehension arise.
- Attach to receptor sites in the cerebral cortex, enhancing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and inhibiting excitatory impulses: anxiolysis…reduction of anxiety, amnesiac…reduces ability to recall events surrounding administration, anti-convulsive …stops seizures, skeletal muscle relaxation, sedative …hypnotic in large doses.
- Patients who chronically take cimetidine (Tagamet) or ranitidine (Zantac) are especially susceptible to benzodiazepine overdose…these H-2 blocking drugs may dramatically increase the sedative effect of even small doses of benzodiazepines.
- Narcotics (when given in conjunction with benzodiazepines are great potentiators of respiratory depression (great synergistic effect).