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Tranquilizers – Introduction, Classification, Examples, Side Effects, Symptoms of Addiction, Practice Problems and FAQ

Tranquilizers – Introduction, Classification, Examples, Side Effects, Symptoms of Addiction, Practice Problems and FAQ

Let's discuss a problem that affects the younger generation frequently. Stress, depression, and mental illnesses are frequently prevalent in adults between the ages of 12 and 25. Every single person is striving to improve their mental health. Nobody is exempt. If you're a human living on this planet, you're probably always trying to improve your mental health to relieve stress and depression and increase your nervous system activity.

There is a class of drugs called tranquilizers that are used to treat mild to severe intellectual problems as well as stress. These provide a sense of well-being by reducing stress, anxiety, irritability, or elation.

Let's discover more about this crucial medication in our daily lives and explore its classifications, side effects, and type.


  • Tranquilizers
  • Tranquilizers – Classification
  • Tranquilizers – Examples
  • Tranquilizers – Side Effects
  • Tranquilizers – Signs and Symptoms of Addiction
  • Practice Problems
  • Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ


The word "tranquilizer" refers to a broad range of medications that have a calming effect by depressing the central nervous system. The majority of tranquilizers are restricted prescription medications, however, some can be bought over the counter (OTC). They are used to treat anxiety, sleep, and psychotic problems, as well as occasionally high blood pressure or seizures.

F. F. Yonkman used the word "tranquilizer" in 1953 to describe a medicine that was intended to cure anxiety, tension, dread, and other mental problems by lowering the level of worry and tension.

  • They provide a person with a sense of well-being, relieving stress, tension, anxiety, and irritation. They are among the key ingredients in sleeping medications.
  • There are several varieties of tranquilizers, and each one works in a unique way.

For instance, noradrenaline is a tranquilizer that aids in boosting mood. When noradrenaline levels are low, signal-sending activity also decreases, which leads to a person feeling sad. Antidepressant medications or a tranquilizer can be utilised in these circumstances.

  • These medications stop the enzymes from catalysing the breakdown of noradrenaline. Noradrenaline is slowly degraded when the enzymes are blocked, as a result, its receptors are activated for a longer period of time, counteracting the depressive impact.

Tranquilizers – Classification

Tranquilizers come in two major varieties namely, minor and major tranquilizers.

Minor Tranquilizers

Sedative drugs include tranquilizers like sleeping pills. They, therefore, slow down how well your body and mind work. This could include things like your pulse, respiration, and mental patterns. These drugs may be recommended for extremely high anxiety levels or sleeplessness (difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep). Examples include Meprobamate, Enzodiazepines derivatives are Diazepam, Chlordiazepoxide, Lorazepam, and Nitrazepam.

Typically, these medications are administered to

  • Minimise your anxiety symptoms, such as feeling extremely anxious or unsteady and assist you in beating insomnia so you can resume a more regular sleep schedule.
  • They cannot treat sleeplessness or anxiety. This is due to the fact that they do not address the root causes of these issues. However, they might temporarily make you feel less anxious and more at ease.

These medications should only be suggested to you if other types of assistance or therapy are ineffective or insufficient for you because of your extreme anxiety or sleeplessness. For instance, this can entail engaging in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or making adjustments to your sleep routine.

Major Tranquilizers:

Neuroleptics, often known as major tranquilizers, were created to treat psychiatric diseases including schizophrenia. These medications fight delusions and other hallucinations. Major tranquilizers include phenothiazines, thioxanthenes, butyrophenones, clozapine, and rauwolfia alkaloids, and are typically prescribed for lengthy periods of time.

The major tranquilizers include

  • Butyrophenones derivatives. Examples: Haloperidol, Trifluperidol, etc.
  • Phenothiazine derivatives. For example, Chlorpromazine, Trifluoperazine, Thiothiazine and Prochlorperazine
  • Rauwolfia Alkaloid. For example, Reserpine
  • Thioxanthene derivative. For example, Thioxanthenes

Major tranquilizer usage may have a number of undesirable side effects, including gynecomastia, impotence, weight gain, and metabolic syndrome. Adverse reactions include tardive dyskinesia, tardive dystonia, and tardive akathisia might result from prolonged usage.

Barbituric acid as tranquilisers:

  • Tranquilizers are drugs that include mainly barbituric acid and its derivatives.
  • The three that are most frequently used are Luminal, Seconal, and Veronal.
  • The most common derivative is veronal. It is a sedative that contains a barbiturate. It is a barbituric acid derivative that is used to treat depression and hypertension. It hypnotises and puts them to sleep.
  • They are also referred to as psychotherapy medicines.

Tranquilizers – Examples

  • Iproniazide and phenelzine are two examples of tranquilizers.
  • Some tranquilizers are gentle in nature and effective for calming anxiety.
  • Equanil (Meprobamate) is used to treat depression and high blood pressure. We have hypnotic drugs called barbiturates that induce sleep. Valium and serotonin are two examples of drugs that are sedatives.
  • We utilise tranquilizers like meprobamate and chlordiazepoxide to reduce anxiety.
  • Meprobamate and chlordiazepoxide are two tranquilizers that are generally moderate and effective for reducing anxiety. Equanil is used to treat depression and high blood pressure.
  • Valium and serotonin are two further drugs that are sedatives.

Tranquilizers – Side Effects

  • When misused, benzodiazepines can cause withdrawal symptoms that might be deadly.
  • Seizures, panic episodes, sleeplessness, and muscle spasms can all result from benzo withdrawal. The most severe withdrawal symptoms are associated with short-acting benzodiazepines like Xanax.
  • Apart from respiratory depression, opioids have a lengthy number of undesirable side effects, such as constipation, which can cause the bowels to impede or stop regular digestion.

Additional unfavourable effects of tranquilizers include

  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Pruritic itching
  • Lowered appetite
  • Nausea
  • Lowered cognition
  • Seizures related to withdrawal
  • Irregular heart-rate
  • Short-term memory loss

Tranquilizers – Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

The following are clinical signs of physical dependence on tranquilizers.

  • Lowered inhibition
  • Uncommon joy or exhilaration
  • Significant loss or increase in weight (noticeable change in appearance)
  • Bruises, swelling, and small wounds from falling when under the influence of drugs
  • Needlestick-related bruising, edoema, and/or needle marks
  • Previous instances of "doctor shopping" to support their habit (having multiple pill bottles with different prescribing doctor's names in their possession)

Practice Problems

Q1. Which among the below-given options is being used as a tranquilizer?

A. Naproxen
B. Tetracycline
C. Chlorpheniramine
D. Equanil

Answer: D

Solution: A group of chemical substances known as tranquilizers is used to treat mild to severe mental illnesses as well as stress. These provide a sensation of well-being, which alleviates anxiety, tension, irritation, or enthusiasm. Out of the given options, only Equanil (Meprobamate) is used to treat depression and high blood pressure.

So, option D is the correct answer.

Q2. _____________ is the branch of medicinal products that are being used to treat stress and depression.

A.  Antiseptics
B. Analgesics
C. Tranquilizers
D. Antihistamines

Answer: C


  • Tranquilizers are the branch of medicinal products that are being used to treat stress and depression.
  • Analgesics diminish the effects of pain without producing mental disorientation, paralysis, or other nervous system disruptions. You can get rid of the pain without generating any nervous system imbalance.
  • Antihistamines are a class of medications that block histamine's physiological activity.
  • Antiseptics are used to destroy microorganisms.

So, option C is the correct answer.

Q3. Meprobamate is a major example of ___________.

A. Antiseptics
B. Antihistamines
C. Tranquilizers
D. Analgesics

Answer: C

Solution: Sedative drugs include tranquilizers like sleeping pills. They, therefore, slow down how well your body and mind work. This could include things like your pulse, respiration, and mental patterns. Meprobamate is a major example of Tranquilizers.

So, option C is the correct answer.

Q4. Neurologically active drugs are __________ and __________.

A. Tranquilizers and analgesics
B. Analgesics and Antihistamines
C. Antihistamines and Tranquilizers
D. Antiseptics and Antihistamines

Answer: A

Solution: Drugs that change the way messages go from the nerve to the receptor and have a neurological impact are neurologically active drugs. Analgesics and tranquilizers are medications with neurological activity. These have an impact on how messages travel from the neuron to the receptor.

So, option A is the correct answer.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

Q1. Are sedatives and tranquilizers the same?
Sedatives and tranquilisers are not the same. The following are some of the differences between sedatives and tranquilizers.



These are referred to as depressants, and they primarily function by calming the oral nervous system.

Central nervous system depressants known as tranquilizers have a soothing impact and moderate sedative effects.

They provide more analgesia or pain relief than tranquilizers do.

They provide less analgesia or pain alleviation than sedatives do.

Sedative users are often oblivious of their surroundings when they are taking them.

Even if it doesn't seem to care, the person who is taking tranquilizers will be conscious of its surroundings.

Q2. Does paracetamol act as a tranquilizers?
 To treat pain and lower fever, respectively, paracetamol is a member of the analgesic and antipyretic medication groups. It is a drug that is commonly used all over the world. Despite being quite good at managing pain, paracetamol has anti-inflammatory qualities. It does not behave as a tranquilizer.

Q3. What was the first tranquilizer invented?
German researchers at the Bayer pharmaceutical business created the first synthetic barbiturate tranquilizer in the early 1900s. Barbiturates were soon being utilised to treat epileptic patients' convulsions and to calm anxious, post-shell shock soldiers.

Q4. What area of the brain regulates human sleep?
Groups of nerve cells in the hypothalamus, a peanut-sized region deep inside the brain, serve as regulatory centres for sleep and alertness.

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