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List of Central Nervous Depressants

March 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Central Nervous Depressants

List of Central Nervous Depressants


List of Central Nervous Depressants

Central nervous depressants are prescribed to help with tension, anxiety and irritability. Central nervous depressants are also used to treat insomnia.  Central nervous depressants are meant to be taken orally and have a high potential for abuse. The most common central nervous depressant drugs are barbiturates, methaqualone, chloral hydrate and Glutethimide.


Barbiturates affect the central nervous system. Barbiturates have a calming effect that can lead to abuse by some people. Barbiturates have a high potential for physical dependence and are fairly easy to become psychologically dependent upon. Barbiturates usually last between 1-16 hours. Higher doses of barbiturates will have longer lasting effects. Some examples of barbiturates are secobarbital, pentobarbital and amobarbital.


Methaqualone is another type of central nervous depressant. Methaqualone is also known as Quaaludes. Methaqualone has a high rate of both physical and psychological dependence. The effects of methaqualone can last between 4-8 hours.

Chloral hydrates

Another type of central nervous depressant is chloral hydrate. Chloral hydrate is typically used as a sedative. One of the brand names for chloral hydrate is Aquachloral. The effects of chloral hydrate usually last between 5-8 hours. Chloral hydrate is moderately physically and psychologically addictive.


Glutethimide is similar to chloral hydrate. Glutethimide also works as a sedative for the user. The brand names for Glutethimide are Glutetimid and Noxyron. Glutethimide has a high rate of physical dependence and is fairly psychologically addictive.


Benzodiazepines are used to treat anxiety, stress, and panic attacks. Benzodiazepines have a high rate of abuse and a high potential for physical and psychological dependence. Some brand names of benzodiazepines are Valium, Xanax, Halcion, and ProSom. Benzodiazepines are not usually used for long term purposes due to the high rate of addiction.

Sleep Medications

Sleep medications are very similar to benzodiazepines but have a different chemical structure. They are thought to supposedly have fewer side effects and less risk of abuse than benzodiazepines. Sleep medications that are most commonly prescribed are Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata.

Anti-Depressants and Anti-psychotics

Anti-depressants and anti-psychotics are central nervous system depressants that are used to treat mental health disease such as major depressive disorders, dysthymic disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Anti-depressants and anti-psychotics have a low potential for abuse. Some brand names of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics are Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Zoloft, Abilify, and Lamictal.

Inhalation anesthetics

Inhalation anesthetics are central nervous system depressants that can be inhaled in order to put patients to sleep before a major surgery. Certain inhalation anesthetics are isoflurane, nitrous oxide, and xenon. An inhalation anesthetic is delivered via inhalation-meaning it is a gas that is breathed in- it is most commonly used in dentist’s office as a way to relax and/or put the patient to sleep.

Central nervous depressants are used for all kinds of different purposes and most of them are safe when taken as directed by a doctor but many of them also have high potentials for addiction. Addictions to central nervous depressants can be very dangerous. Central nervous depressants should always be used with the direction of a medical health professional.


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