D.4.5 Identify other commonly used depressants and describe their structures.

Diazepam (Valium): Anxiety and Muscle tension


Diazepam is used for its sedative, anxiety-relieving and muscle-relaxing effects.

Diazepam works by acting on the receptors in the brain, causing the release of a neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that are stored in nerve cells that are involved in transmitting messages between neurons. GABA helps induce relaxation and sleep, helps regulate motor control, vision, and anxiety, as well as balances the brain by inhibiting over-excitation. By increasing the level of GABA in the brain, epilepsy can be treated and trembling in patients with Huntington's disease can be controlled.

3D Interaction with Structure of Diazepam

Also, interestingly enough, it's structurally similar to Diphenylhydantoin, which also has anticonvulsant (used to prevent or reduce the severity of epileptic fits or convulsions) properties.

Nitrazepam (Mogadon): Insomnia, Myoclonic seizure

external image mogadon-5mg-tabs.jpg

Nitrazepam is used to treat short-term sleeping problems (insomnia), such as difficulty falling asleep, frequent awakenings during the night, and early-morning awakening. It is also used for myoclonic seizure (caused by rapid contractions and relaxations of the muscles). Nitrazepam is limited by its serious side effects, such as impairment of memory, impairment of motor functions, hangover feeling in the morning, slurred speech, decreased physical performance, numbed emotions, reduced alertness, muscle weakness, double vision and inattention. Nitrazepam works by slowing down the nerves in the brain (the central nervous system).

3D Java Structure of Nitrazepam


external image Barbituric_acid.png

They are effective as anxiolytic (treating anxiety), treating insomnia and can temporarly remove sensation
However, it is addictive both physically and psycholgically.

Fluoxetine hydrochloride (Prozac) : Depression, OCD, Eating & Panic Disorders


(the dot in the formula indicates it is a hydrochloride salt)

Prozac is used to treat depressions (symptoms that include change in appetite, sleeping habits, feelings of guilt and worthlessness and suicidal thoughts), obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorder and panic disorders.

Prozac is a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI). Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which is important in the areas of the brain which regulate mood and thinking. In people with depression, serotonin is not as effective or active as normal in the brain, due to excessive re-uptake of the neurotransmitter by the neurons after the neural impulse is sent from one neuron to another. In order increase the amount of serotonin present in the brain, inhibitors like prozac slow the rate at which neurons reabsorb the serotonin, which can help correct the lack of action by serotonin and improve mood.

A 3D Interaction Tool