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Sedative/Hypnotic Drugs: Benzodiazepines, Barbiturates and Ethanol – Drugs of Abuse

by Pravin Shukle, MD
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    Hi, welcome to the pharmacology course by Lecturio. This lecture and this course is about toxicology and we're going to cover some of the drugs of abuse that are common in our culture. The first group of drugs that we'll talk about are the sedative hypnotics. This includes the benzodiazepine, the barbiturates and the ethanol. With respect to benzodiazepines, they often end in -lam or -pam. So, rhohypnol is probably the most commonly abused of these drugs. It is no longer used in clinical practice. It is often referred to as the date rape drug. It's also called a "roofie". Chloral hydrate is a very old benzodiazepine that we sometimes use in senior citizens, but it is often abused in clinical practice. It's known as "sparkle" or "floral chloral" or "flower", which is a play on words of the name itself. GHB, are also called "roofies", but they are called "roofies" incorrectly because they are different from rhohypnol. GHB is often used as a club drug. You get euphoria, enhanced sensory perception and amnesia and it is also sometimes used in date rape. The other benzodiazepines are more clinically used and I've listed them here so that you can have them for reference. In terms of how they affect the human body, they are used predominantly for anti-anxiety, and there's antidepressants as well. They may follow the dopaminergic method of addiction. And benzos are often used with alcohol in the "date rape" phenomenon. Depressant effects are potentiated by marijuana, opioids and antipsychotics. And in terms of the symptoms, they are similar to ethanol with a rapid pulse and dilated pupils. The antidote to all benzos is flumazenil. And it's often kept in code cards and it's often kept in addiction centers. Withdrawal treatment is usually switching them to a longer...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Sedative/Hypnotic Drugs: Benzodiazepines, Barbiturates and Ethanol – Drugs of Abuse by Pravin Shukle, MD is from the course Toxicology. It contains the following chapters:

    • Benzodiazepines
    • Barbiturates

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Flumazenil
    2. Fomepizole
    3. Naloxone
    4. Epinephrine injection
    5. Hemodialysis
    1. Blocks sympathetic activity during withdrawal
    2. Stabilizes membranes
    3. Enhances elimination through the kidneys
    4. Reduces the risk of pH abnormality
    5. Blocks pain receptors during withdrawal
    1. Long acting benzodiazepine. Useful for withdrawal treatment of barbiturates.
    2. Short acting barbiturate. Known to be very addictive
    3. Opioid
    4. Medium acting benzodiazepine. Bypasses the liver during metabolism.
    5. Street drug. Often used in date rape.

    Author of lecture Sedative/Hypnotic Drugs: Benzodiazepines, Barbiturates and Ethanol – Drugs of Abuse

     Pravin Shukle, MD

    Pravin Shukle, MD


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