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Introduction – Sedatives, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic Use Disorder (Nursing)

by Brenda Marshall, EdD, MSN, RN

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    00:00 Now we're going to be looking at the drug use classes of sedative, hypnotic, and anxiolytic.

    00:09 So, a drug use disorder in these 3 classes is called SHA drug use disorder. So, what is the definition of an SHA drug use disorder? It is the misuse of any of the drugs that are found in these categories. And these categories are also known as tranquilizers.

    00:32 The purpose of sedatives is to decrease excitement. It decreases activities. Hypnotics cause drowsiness and sleeps. And the anxiolytics treat panic disorder and general anxiety disorder, GAD, and any other nervous disorders. So what types of drugs can be found in these 3 different categories? Well, you have the benzodiazepines; Ativan, Halcion, Librium, Valium, Xanax. Now when you are thinking about these medications, they shouldn't look unusual; Ativan, Halcion, Librium, Valium, even Xanax. We do see quite frequently, people will say "I was very nervous, my doctor gave me a prescription for Xanax or Ativan, Librium, or Valium." The barbiturates are Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, Phenobarbital, choral hydrate. So these are the 2 different types of drugs that are found. They are frequently used as anxiolytics, the ones that most frequently are used as anxiolytic are Xanax which is alprazolam, and Librium, chlordiazepoxide, Klonopin which is clonazepam, Valium which is diazepam, and Ativan which is lorazepam. These commonly used drugs are known as anxiolytics and sedatives. Any chronic use of these drugs results in tolerance and then dependence. And it's important to remember that people can be prescribed these medications and they can be taking them over time.

    02:32 I have had patients who were on 5 mg of Valium and then went up to 10 mg of Valium for what they considered a nervous condition and then they had to come to me in order to be able to get off of the Valium without having to go through the symptoms of withdrawal. Because just because a medication is prescribed does not mean it will not end up being a medication that the person will become tolerant to, that the person will require increased doses of, and on which the patient may become dependent. Withdrawal for a person who is dependent on any of these drugs, the severity of that withdrawal is going to be related to how much of that drug is used and how long it has been taken.

    03:26 Now, each one of these drugs have different half lives. So, the half life elimination rate is also going to be letting us know about this withdrawal. If the half life is short, elimination is fast, that withdrawal will start sooner. If the half life of the medication is longer and the elimination is slower, then it will take a longer time before we see that kind of effect of withdrawal.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Introduction – Sedatives, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic Use Disorder (Nursing) by Brenda Marshall, EdD, MSN, RN is from the course Sedatives, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic and Stimulant Use Disorder (Nursing).


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Sedatives
    2. Hypnotics
    3. Amphetamines
    4. Corticosteroids
    1. Metabolism
    2. Age
    3. Liver and renal function
    4. Sex

    Author of lecture Introduction – Sedatives, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic Use Disorder (Nursing)

     Brenda Marshall, EdD, MSN, RN

    Brenda Marshall, EdD, MSN, RN


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