Medicine that calms you down

Anti-Anxiety Medications (Benzodiazepines) | CAMH


Anti-anxiety medications help reduce the symptoms of anxiety, such as panic attacks or extreme fear and worry. The most common anti-anxiety medications are called benzodiazepines.

Benzodiazepines are a group of medications that can help reduce anxiety and make it easier to sleep. They are also used as a muscle relaxant, to induce sedation for surgery and other medical procedures, and in the treatment of seizures and alcohol withdrawal. Benzodiazepines are also called minor tranquillizers, sedatives or hypnotics. They are the most widely prescribed psychoactive drugs in the world.

The calming effects of benzodiazepines can often be achieved without drugs.

Various kinds of exercise, such as walking, running, yoga or tai chi can help, as can reducing the stress in your life and taking time for relaxing activities such as meditation, reading a book or having a warm bath. Talking with a trusted friend, family member or therapist and working out the problems that are troubling you can also help. Whenever possible, these approaches should be tried first, before benzodiazepines. However, when non-drug approaches are not possible or do not help, benzodiazepines can provide relief.

When used appropriately, benzodiazepines are safe and effective drugs. They do, however, have potential for abuse and can be addictive. For this reason, they are usually only recommended for short-term or occasional use.

Do I need this treatment?

A certain amount of anxiety or insomnia is a normal reaction to what is happening in your life. You may worry or feel stressed, and sometimes these feelings can keep you up at night. Most often, these feelings pass and are not a problem. However, these feelings can become a problem when they continue over a longer term, cause severe distress, make you feel physically ill and affect your behaviour. This kind of anxiety may be triggered by a challenging life event. It can also be a symptom of a mental health problem.

The ability to fall asleep and to sleep through the night can be affected by many types of health problems. These include physical conditions that cause pain or trouble breathing, as well as mental health problems. When sleep is disrupted, health can be further affected.

While each situation is unique and different treatment approaches may be called for, benzodiazepines can help to provide relief.

What does Anti-anxiety Medications (Benzodiazepines) do?

Benzodiazepines enhance the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA—a chemical in the brain that helps you to feel calm. Their effect also produces drowsiness, making it easier to fall asleep and sleep through the night.

Side effects of Anti-anxiety Medications (Benzodiazepines)

The side-effects of benzodiazepines are generally mild and may not be noticed when these drugs are used at low doses.

Common side-effects include:

  • drowsiness
  • sedation
  • dizziness
  • loss of balance.

At higher doses, side-effects can include:

  • confusion
  • disorientation
  • amnesia
  • breathing difficulties
  • depression.

Other possible effects, which are extremely rare, include agitation, hallucinations and nightmares. Reducing the dose can help to reduce side-effects.

Benzodiazepines can make it harder to learn and remember new information and to do certain physical and mental tasks. These abilities return to normal once the effect of the drug wears off.

When used to help you get to sleep, benzodiazepines can have some “hangover” effects, such as morning and daytime drowsiness.

Types of Anti-anxiety Medications (Benzodiazepines)

Many types of benzodiazepines are available in Canada. All benzodiazepines work the same way; however, the intensity and duration of their effects vary.

Benzodiazepines most commonly used to treat anxiety disorders are clonazepam (Rivotril)*, alprazolam (Xanax) and lorazepam (Ativan). Also used are bromazepam (Lectopam), oxazepam (Serax), chlordiazepoxide (once marketed as Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene) and diazepam (Valium).

Benzodiazepines used for the treatment of insomnia include lorazepam (Ativan), nitrazepam (Mogadon), oxazepam (Serax), temazepam (Restoril), triazolam (Halcion) and flurazepam (Dalmane).

Another drug used for insomnia is zopiclone (Imovane). This drug is similar to benzodiazepines and has similar side-effects. Zopiclone may have less abuse potential than some benzodiazepines; however, people can still become addicted to this drug.

Benzodiazepines are available in the form of tablets or capsules, which are taken by mouth. Some are also available as a sublingual tablet, which is dissolved under the tongue, or as a solution for injection.

* Medications are referred to in two ways: by their generic name and by their brand or trade names. Brand names available in Canada appear here in brackets. For example, alprazolam (Xanax) and lorazepam (Ativan).

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I take benzodiazepines?

For most people, benzodiazepines are helpful only as a temporary measure, to be used only in the following ways:

  • on occasion, to help you sleep or when anxiety can’t be managed with non-drug approaches
  • daily, for up to a few weeks, to help re-establish sleep patterns or to reduce anxiety while waiting for an antidepressant or other treatment to take effect.

Some people may continue to use benzodiazepines for longer, even months or years. Some do so because they continue to find these drugs helpful and have agreed with their prescribing physician that the benefits of continuing to use them outweigh the risks. There are also those who continue to use benzodiazepines over a longer term because the prescribing doctor has not re-examined their continued use. In this instance, ask another doctor to review your prescription.

Are benzodiazepines addictive?

When used on occasion or daily for a few weeks, benzodiazepines have a low risk of addiction. This risk increases, however, when benzodiazepines are taken regularly for more than a few weeks, especially when they are taken in higher than normal doses. People with a history of substance abuse should avoid or minimize use of benzodiazepines as they are at higher risk of becoming addicted.

Signs of addiction include strong cravings for the effects of the drug, taking more of the drug than intended and continuing to use the drug despite the problems it may cause. Addiction may develop with or without physical dependence.

Physical dependence: When benzodiazepines are taken regularly over a long period of time, the body adapts to the presence of the drug. This is known as physical dependence. Physical dependence, on its own, is not the same as addiction. Signs of physical dependence include tolerance and withdrawal.

Tolerance: People are said to have developed tolerance to a drug when the same dose, taken over time, no longer has the desired effect. With benzodiazepines, it is known that:

  • Tolerance to the sleep-inducing effects may develop within a few weeks of regular use; however, tolerance does not usually develop with occasional use.
  • Tolerance to the anxiety-relieving effects is less likely to develop.
  • Tolerance to the effects of one type of benzodiazepine leads to tolerance to other benzodiazepines, and to other drugs with similar effects, including alcohol.

Some people who develop tolerance may take higher and higher doses to feel the same intensity of effect as when they started taking the drug. These people may find it difficult to stop using benzodiazepines.

Withdrawal: Withdrawal symptoms of benzodiazepines may be similar to the reasons why the drugs were prescribed in the first place. The severity of withdrawal symptoms depends on the type of benzodiazepine used, the amount used and length of time it is used, and on whether the drug is stopped abruptly. Symptoms can include headache, insomnia, anxiety, tension, sweating, difficulty concentrating, tremor, sensory disturbances, fatigue, stomach upset and loss of appetite. Severe withdrawal symptoms from regular use of benzodiazepines in high doses may include agitation, paranoia, delirium and seizures. Withdrawal symptoms generally begin within a few days after treatment is stopped, and they may continue for two to four weeks or longer.

How do I safely use benzodiazepines?

Take only as directed by your doctor; do not increase your dose.

Once you have slept well for two or three nights in a row, try to get to sleep without taking the medication.

If you have been taking benzodiazepines regularly for a few weeks or more, check with your doctor before reducing or stopping your medication.

How do I cut down or stop taking benzodiazepines?

Most often, benzodiazepines are prescribed to help people get through stressful situations or to provide relief while waiting for other treatment to take effect. When used in this way, on occasion or daily for a few weeks, most people can stop taking them without difficulty or withdrawal effects.

Stopping use can, however, be hard for some people, even when the use is short term. Problems are most likely to occur when:

  • the issues that caused you to take these drugs in the first place have not yet been dealt with
  • no other medication or talk therapy has been started.

People who wish to stop using benzodiazepines after using them regularly over a longer term will need to cut back their use gradually over an extended period of time. This approach reduces withdrawal effects and helps ensure success in stopping. Because the ideal process for cutting down varies depending on the benzodiazepine you are taking, the dose and the length of time you have been taking it, ask your doctor to help you set up a schedule. If the long-term use has been at high doses, stopping use requires medical supervision.

Will benzodiazepines interact with other medications?

These drugs may interact with other medications. If your doctor or dentist prescribes any medication, inform him or her about the drug you are taking. Check with your pharmacist before using any over-the-counter medication, including herbal products, cold or allergy tablets, or cough syrups.

When taken on their own, the risk of overdose with benzodiazepines is low; however, combining these drugs with other sedatives, such as alcohol, or with medications containing codeine or other opioid drugs, can result in overdose and possible death. Symptoms of overdose include slurred speech, confusion, severe drowsiness, weakness and staggering, slow heartbeat, breathing problems and unconsciousness.

What if I drink alcohol or coffee while taking benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines can be dangerous when combined with alcohol. Benzodiazepines increase the effects of alcohol, making you more sleepy, dizzy or lightheaded. One danger of this is the increased risk of stumbling, falling and related injuries. Another is the increased risk of overdose. Both alcohol and benzodiazepines slow down the central nervous system, which controls breathing. In overdose, breathing can stop.

Drinking too many caffeinated beverages (i.e., more than four cups of coffee or six cups of tea daily) may counteract the anxiety-reducing effects of benzodiazepines.

What if I use street drugs while taking benzodiazepines?

If you are taking benzodiazepines to help reduce the distress of a mental health problem, chances are that you want to feel less anxious and get a good night’s sleep. Street drugs, such as marijuana or cocaine, have effects that can worsen symptoms of anxiety and interfere with sleep—making you feel worse, rather than better.

Taking benzodiazepines to enhance the effect of other sedative drugs, such as opioids, is dangerous and increases the risk of overdose and injury.

Will benzodiazepines affect my ability to drive safely?

Benzodiazepines can affect your ability to drive a vehicle and increase the risk of a crash, especially if taken in combination with alcohol or other sedative drugs. The risk is highest when you first start taking benzodiazepines, before you are used to their effect. Avoid driving or operating other machinery if you feel drowsy or slowed down.

Will benzodiazepines affect my sex drive and function?

There is no clear evidence that benzodiazepines have any effect on sex drive or function.

Is it safe to take benzodiazepines while pregnant or breastfeeding?

The risk of birth defects from taking benzodiazepines while pregnant is not known, though it is thought to be very small. If benzodiazepines are used regularly close to the delivery date, the baby may be born drowsy or may have withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness and feeding problems.

Small quantities of benzodiazepines can be passed through breast milk from the mother to the baby. This may cause drowsiness in the baby.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or thinking about becoming pregnant, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of continuing or stopping benzodiazepines. If your doctor recommends that you stop taking benzodiazepines, he or she will help you to slowly reduce your dose over time, to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Can children and teens use benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are not recommended for use by children and teens, except to bring sedation prior to surgery or for brief medical procedures. Extra caution should be used when considering giving benzodiazepines to children as these drugs may cause children to become irritable rather than calm.

Can older adults use benzodiazepines?

Sensitivity to the effects of benzodiazepines increases with age. When older adults take these drugs, they may become confused and have reduced muscle co-ordination, putting them at greater risk of falls, hip fractures and motor vehicle crashes.

If an older person has been taking benzodiazepines regularly for a very long time, the process required to stop taking them may be long and difficult. In some cases, a doctor may decide to leave the older person on the medication, with regular assessment of daytime side-effects.

Copyright © 2009, 2012 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

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Additional Resources

  • For more information on medications, contact your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
  • Anxiety Disorders: An Information Guide (PDF)
  • A free tutorial on anxiety disorders is available on the Mental Health 101 page.

Drugs to Treat Anxiety Disorder

Most people feel anxious at some point in their lives, and the feeling often goes away by itself. An anxiety disorder is different. If you’ve been diagnosed with one, you may need help managing anxiety. Treatment typically consists of psychotherapy and medication.

While drugs do not cure anxiety, they can help you manage your symptoms, so you can function well and feel better in your day-to-day life.

Many types of medications are available. Because every person is different, you and your doctor may have to try several medications to find the right one for you.

Benzodiazepines are sedatives that can help relax your muscles and calm your mind. They work by increasing the effects of certain neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that relay messages between your brain cells.

Benzodiazepines help treat many kinds of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Examples of these drugs include:

  • alprazolam (Xanax)
  • chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • diazepam (Valium)
  • lorazepam (Ativan)

Benzodiazepines are typically used for short-term treatment of anxiety. This is because they can increase drowsiness and cause problems with balance and memory. They can also be habit-forming. There’s an increasing number of cases of substance use disorder involving benzodiazepine.

It’s important to only use these drugs until your doctor prescribes other treatment. However, if you have panic disorder, your doctor may prescribe benzodiazepines for up to 1 year.

Side effects

In addition to drowsiness and memory problems, taking benzodiazepines can also cause:

  • confusion
  • vision problems
  • headaches
  • feelings of depression

If you’ve taken a benzodiazepine regularly for more than 2 weeks, it’s important to not stop the pills suddenly, as this could cause unwanted withdrawal symptoms. Instead, talk with your doctor about slowly tapering off your dosage to reduce your risk of seizure.

Buspirone is used to treat both short-term anxiety and chronic (long-lasting) anxiety disorders. It’s not fully understood how buspirone works, but it’s thought to affect chemicals in the brain that regulate mood.

Buspirone can take up to several weeks to become fully effective. It’s available as a generic drug as well as the brand-name drug Buspar.

Side effects

Side effects can include dizziness, headaches, and nausea. Some people also report strange dreams or difficulty sleeping when they take buspirone.

Antidepressant medications work by affecting neurotransmitters. These drugs can be used to treat anxiety symptoms, but they usually take 4 to 6 weeks to produce noticeable effects.

Types of antidepressants include:


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) work by increasing levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood, sexual desire, appetite, sleep, and memory. SSRIs are typically started at a low dose that your doctor gradually increases.

Examples of SSRIs used to treat anxiety include:

  • escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • paroxetine (Paxil)
  • sertraline (Zoloft)

Side effects

SSRIs can cause a variety of side effects, but most people tolerate them well. Side effects can include:

  • nausea
  • dry mouth
  • muscle weakness
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • sexual dysfunction

If you have a concern about a particular side effect, talk with your doctor.


Tricyclics work as well as SSRIs do for treating most anxiety disorders, except obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It’s thought that tricyclics work similarly to SSRIs. Like SSRIs, tricyclics are started at a low dose and then increased gradually.

Examples of tricyclics used for anxiety include:

  • clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • imipramine (Tofranil)

Tricyclics are older drugs that are used less often because newer drugs cause fewer side effects.

Side effects

Side effects of tricyclics can include:

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • confusion
  • urinary retention
  • nausea and vomiting
  • constipation
  • blurred vision
  • weight gain

Side effects can often be controlled by changing the dose or switching to another tricyclic.


Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are used to treat panic disorder and social phobia. They work by increasing the number of neurotransmitters that regulate mood.

MAOIs that are FDA approved to treat depression but used off-label for anxiety include:

  • isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • phenelzine (Nardil)
  • selegiline (Emsam)
  • tranylcypromine (Parnate)

Side effects

Like tricyclics, MAOIs are older drugs that cause more side effects than newer drugs. Some side effects include:

  • dry mouth
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • insomnia
  • dizziness

Certain medications, including SSRIs, some birth control pills, pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, cold and allergy medications, and herbal supplements can react with MAOIs.

Using an MAOI with medications can dangerously increase your blood pressure and cause other potentially life threatening side effects.

Beta-blockers are most often used to treat heart conditions. They’re also used off-label to help relieve the physical symptoms of anxiety, especially in social anxiety disorder.

Your doctor may prescribe a beta-blocker such as propranolol (Inderal) to help reduce your anxiety symptoms in stressful situations, such as attending a party or giving a speech.

Side effects

Beta-blockers don’t usually cause side effects in everyone taking them.

Some potential side effects can include:

  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • cold fingers or toes

Other side effects may include:

  • trouble sleeping
  • nausea
  • shortness of breath

There are a variety of at-home interventions that can help ease your anxiety symptoms. Several interventions can also be practiced in addition to taking medications.

Examples of these interventions include:


Exercise can help reduce stress and enhance your overall sense of well-being, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).

It helps produce neurotransmitters known as endorphins. These neurotransmitters are your body’s natural pain relievers and can also help improve your sleep quality.

The ADAA reports that even short exercise sessions (about 10 minutes at a time) are effective in helping lift your mood.


Taking 15-minute intervals of quiet time and meditation to focus on deep breathing and relaxation can help calm your anxiety. You can listen to music or repeat a motivational mantra on a regular basis.

Try chamomile

Sipping chamomile tea or taking a chamomile supplement might help to ease anxiety symptoms.

A 2016 double-blind study published in the Phytomedicine journal focused on individuals with generalized anxiety disorder.

The study found that study participants who took 500-milligram chamomile supplements three times per day on a daily basis reported a reduction in moderate to severe generalized anxiety.

Drinking chamomile tea has also been shown to help reduce anxiety.

Smell aromatherapy oils

Smelling diluted aromatherapy oils may help reduce anxiety, according to an article published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal.

Examples of essential oils used to provide anxiety relief include:

  • lavender
  • neroli
  • chamomile

Avoid caffeine

Sometimes caffeine may make you feel jittery and more anxious. Avoiding it can help some people reduce their anxiety.

Your doctor can help you find the best course of treatment for your anxiety. Proper treatment will likely include psychotherapy and medication.

Be sure to follow their instructions when taking anxiety medications and let them know about any side effects you have. Also, ask any questions you have about your condition or your treatment, such as:

  • What side effects could I have from this medication?
  • How long will it take to start working?
  • Does this medication interact with any other drugs I’m taking?
  • Can you refer me to a psychotherapist?
  • Could exercise help relieve my anxiety symptoms?

If you feel a medication isn’t giving you the desired results or is causing unwanted side effects, talk with your doctor before you stop taking it.

Articles of the network of pharmacies "Classic" - Pharmacy Classic


“All diseases are from the nerves,” said doctors in the middle of the 20th century. However, the 21st century has come, and nothing has changed in this regard. The rhythm of life is still accelerating, the demands are getting higher, and the fatigue is getting bigger. Tips for normalizing rest and sleep patterns, improving nutrition and avoiding stressful situations help, but to help them they need to take medications that help the depleted nervous system restore tone and return to normal. nine0003

It is gratifying that modern pharmacology does not stand still and regularly supplies new and more advanced sedatives to the drug market. Their effect on the body manifests itself much faster, they have fewer contraindications and do not cause side effects that the drugs of past generations were famous for. In our selection, experts from the Classic pharmacy will tell you which sedatives are considered the best today.

1. Fitosedan (Sedative collection No. 2). nine0009

This sedative is one of the few all-natural stress relievers. At the same time, the absence of synthetic components does not in the least prevent it from exerting a powerful sedative effect on the body, and all thanks to an amazing combination of medicinal herbs such as oregano and thyme, valerian, sweet clover and licorice root. As practice shows, Fitosedan perfectly eliminates sleep problems and prevents the negative effects of stress, if it has not yet become chronic. nine0003

In addition, sedative collection No. 2 does not harm the body, which means that it can be used even during pregnancy and even children. The same applies to side effects. For example, Fitosedan does not cause drowsiness, and therefore doctors recommend drinking it in the afternoon, brewing one filter bag at a time, and drinking it like tea. Moreover, you can take the remedy even in the morning or at lunchtime, without fear of the appearance of a sleepy or inhibited state. With all this, Fitosedan is an affordable drug, the price of which will pleasantly surprise you. nine0003

2. Persen.

Persen is another herbal preparation that combines valerian extract with lemon balm and peppermint. In this combination, the substances from these herbs are able to have a mild relaxing and calming effect on the body. The drug Persen perfectly copes with neurotic conditions and unpleasant symptoms of stress, it is effective as a remedy for anxiety and depression, and besides, it bears the proud title of "The Best Natural Sleeping Pill". Moreover, experts often prescribe this medication for the prevention of psychosomatic disorders. nine0003

Separately, we will say that Persen is not at all addictive and does not reduce concentration, so it can be taken by people engaged in activities that require increased concentration. If we talk about the shortcomings of the drug, then this should include individual intolerance and hypersensitivity to the components of Persen. Persen is not prescribed to children under three years of age due to the lack of studies confirming the safety of taking the medicine at this age. nine0003

3. Tenoten.

This drug belongs to homeopathic remedies, the effects on the body of which are still disputed today. The fact is that the active substance of the drug is present in this medication in extremely small doses, and, according to some scientists, does not have a positive effect on the nerves. Nevertheless, numerous studies and reviews prove that the drug is excellent for people who are in a state of prolonged stress, those who suffer from neuroses and are faced with autonomic and psychosomatic disorders. nine0003

In addition, Tenoten improves memory and increases the body's resistance to stress. The undoubted advantage of the drug is that due to the minimum doses of the drug, Tenoten does not cause side effects. And the list of its contraindications includes only children under 3 years of age, pregnancy and lactase deficiency.

4. Deprim

This sedative is commonly called the "Most Natural Antidepressant", and all because its active ingredient is the St. John's wort plant, or rather its extract. For the first time, scientists became interested in the antidepressant effect of this medicinal plant in the mid-80s of the last century, and the opinions of American and European researchers diverged. The Americans considered that St. John's wort is not able to effectively affect the central nervous system, while European scientists proved that in the fight against depressive states, St. John's wort extract is in no way inferior, and in many ways even surpasses traditional antidepressants. nine0003

Today, Deprim is often prescribed to combat depression (mild to moderate), in case of low mood, anxiety (especially during menopause), as well as increased sensitivity to weather changes. True, you can buy medicine only with a doctor's prescription, and for children under 6 years old, it is contraindicated. In addition, it must be remembered that this medicine enhances photosensitivity, which means that it is better for fans of a beautiful sun tan or visiting a solarium to refuse treatment with Deprim. And yet - you should not combine taking this medication with another antidepressant, so as not to cause an overdose. nine0003

5. Afobazole

The drug Afobazole is rightfully called one of the best anxiolytics and tranquilizers of our time. This tool is the best combination of efficiency, safety and affordability. Judge for yourself, Afobazole perfectly calms the nerves and reduces anxiety, helps to eliminate insomnia and problems with falling asleep. In narcological practice, this drug is prescribed to people who decide to quit smoking or “quit” alcohol. Afobazole in this case perfectly eliminates the signs of withdrawal symptoms. The medicine is also used in psychiatry, where, in combination with other drugs, it eliminates some psychosomatic disorders. nine0003

Here it is worth mentioning the main advantage of the sedative in question. The fact is that Afobazole is the only tranquilizer that does not turn into addiction. Moreover, this remedy is combined with alcoholic beverages, which means that when taking the medicine, you will not attract too much attention to yourself at friendly parties and family celebrations.

At the same time, this medication is not prescribed to persons under the age of 18, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and people with lactose intolerance. nine0003

6. Gerbion

This is another combination sedative of natural origin, which includes valerian root, peppermint, hop cones and lemon balm. Thanks to this combination of medicinal herbs, the drug has a calming effect on the central nervous system. First of all, this effect is provided by valerian root. Hop cones enhance its effect on the nervous system, while lemon balm and peppermint have a relaxing effect and give the drug a pleasant taste. nine0003

Gerbion is recommended for people suffering from anxiety, those who need to cope with increased excitability, irritability, insomnia or constant stress. The medicine is produced in drops, and therefore, for most of the listed disorders, it is enough to take 20-30 drops a day so that unpleasant nervous disorders no longer bother you.

It is recommended to use Gerbion for adults, but for children under twelve years of age, the medication is prescribed only after consultation with a specialist. In addition, it should be remembered that Gerbion drops are produced on alcohol, which means that they should be used by persons driving a car and other means of increased danger with caution. nine0003

7. Novo-passit

This Czech drug is called the best drug with anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) action. Initially, Novo-Passit caused a lot of doubts as a sedative, because the active component of this drug is the substance guaifenesin, developed by scientists in 2012 to combat coughs. However, later it turned out that this plant substance, extracted from the bark of the guaiac tree, affects not only the cough center, but also the central nervous system, relieving a person of anxiety and perfectly calming “shaken” nerves. nine0003

Today Novo-Passit is used to combat such unpleasant conditions as irritability and anxiety, absent-mindedness, fear, and increased excitability. It is often prescribed to women to alleviate symptoms during menopause. Moreover, in combination with other drugs, Novo-Passit is used to combat allergies. Experts note the speed of the drug. Its beneficial effect on the body can be felt after 30 minutes, which makes Novo-Passit indispensable in the case of neuroses and reactive psychoses. However, every person taking this drug should be aware of the possible side effects in the form of nausea, vomiting, or dizziness. nine0003

In addition, Novo-Passit reduces reaction time and weakens attention, which limits the category of people who can take this drug. Children under 12 years of age are also not prescribed this sedative.

8. Phenibut

Phenibut is one of the best representatives of modern nootropic drugs, i.e. drugs that activate the brain and improve mental processes. At the same time, Phenibut is a universal remedy with tranquilizing (calming and relieving anxiety) action. Due to such a diverse effect on the brain and, in particular, on the nervous system, Phenibut is prescribed in case of difficulty falling asleep, constant fear, anxiety and other neurotic conditions. nine0003

Neurologists use this remedy to treat dizziness and tension headaches, in cases of "seasickness" (motion sickness) and Ménière's disease. In combination with other drugs, Phenibut is also prescribed for children. Let's talk about the negative impact on the body. Doctors do not recommend taking the medication for a long time, as in this case it can harm the liver.

9. Pantogam

This is another representative of nootropic drugs that protects the brain from oxygen starvation, increases mental and physical performance. At the same time, the drug has a moderate sedative effect on the body, which allows it to be used in neurotic conditions and the treatment of various addictions. nine0003

Interest in Pantogam is increasing year by year also because, against the background of the treatment of serious diseases such as schizophrenia, epilepsy or Parkinson's disease, this drug helps to cope with nervous breakdown, sleep disturbance and other consequences of stress. Moreover, it is widely used in pediatrics, improving children's memory and normalizing a child's sleep.

Pantogam is prescribed in the complex treatment of childhood epilepsy, as well as mental retardation in children. Psychomotor agitation in children is also a reason for prescribing this drug. The advantages of Pantogam include the fact that in the event of side effects, it is enough just to reduce the dosage of the medicine, as an unpleasant condition will immediately go away. However, among its side effects are drowsiness and lethargy, and in case of an overdose, a person becomes lethargic. In addition, the contraindication of the drug is pregnancy (I trimester), allergic reactions and kidney pathology. nine0003

10. Glycine

If we talk about the means tested over the years, which have long proved their effective effect on the nervous system, then the first among them is Glycine. Today, this remedy is in demand, as before, and doctors proudly call it the best sedative for children. This medicine, which improves metabolic processes in the brain, has been helping people cope with increased emotional stress, aggressiveness and conflict for more than a dozen years.

Glycine perfectly improves mood, relieves anxiety and improves sleep. The medication in question helps to cope with the withdrawal syndrome and manifestations of menopause for adults, and at the same time is suitable for children over three years old who suffer from increased excitability and do not sleep well at night.

The great advantage of this universal drug is the absence of contraindications (except for individual intolerance), as well as the low price, which makes Glycine affordable for all categories of citizens. nine0003

In this article, you have read the top 10 best sedatives for the nervous system, which means that in case of nervous disorders, it will be much easier for you to choose the right medicine. However, do not forget to consult a doctor before using it. Take care of yourself!

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Good sedatives without a prescription - an article on the site Aptechestvo, Nizhny Novgorod

Insomnia, apathy, anxiety - these and other symptoms of stress appear when the nervous system is shaken up. In such a state, the quality of life decreases: fatigue and weakness dominate the desire to do something, and lack of sleep provokes unreasonable aggression and anxiety. To overcome the symptoms of stress, good sedatives without prescriptions, which can be bought at the pharmacy, will help. nine0003

Nature of stress

Stress is a set of non-specific adaptive (normal) reactions of the body to the impact of various adverse factors. Difficulties in the team, moving, the upcoming exam are just a small part of what can affect the nervous system, causing insomnia, anxiety and other manifestations of stress.

The nature of such a condition can be chronic, acute or short-term, which is important for the selection of treatment. So, if the disorder is not associated with serious mental disorders, sedative drugs without prescriptions are enough. For chronic and severe stress, prescription drugs prescribed by a doctor are required. nine0003

How stress manifests itself

Human reactions are controlled by processes occurring in the nervous system - excitation and inhibition. With normal psychological health, they are balanced, but in the event of a nervous shock, this balance is disturbed.

Depending on which process is activated more strongly, the following appear:

  • anxiety attacks, irritability, aggression;

  • nine0002 sleep disorders;

  • frequent and abrupt mood swings;

  • prostration;

  • apathy;

  • memory and concentration disorders;

  • nervous excitement and other signs of stress.


Over-the-counter sedative pills restore this balance. The cumulative effect of taking them prevents disruptions in mental health, including during periods of a break between courses.

Effect of sedatives

Fast-acting sedative pills without prescriptions reduce the excitability of nerve cells. As the concentration of active substances in the body increases, nervous tension disappears, healthy sleep is restored, and other symptoms of stress disorder are suppressed. nine0003

An over-the-counter herbal sedative should be taken in cases of unreasonable anxiety, sleep problems and unstable mood.

Suppression of irritability is facilitated by preparations based on magnesium carbonate and vitamin B6. Capsules Motherwort Forte Evalar and Stressovit have proven themselves, the main substances of which are linden, motherwort and hops.

Types of antidepressants

All antidepressant drugs are divided into groups: nine0003

  • neuroleptics - suppress psychomotor agitation;

  • tranquilizers - are an adjuvant when taking antipsychotics, they stop nervous excitement;

  • psychostimulants - return activity and vigor;

  • antidepressants - applicable in the treatment of depression and other mental disorders; nine0003

  • normothymic drugs - effective in depression associated with chronic affective diseases.

These are prescription drugs that are selected exclusively by a specialist. The list of over-the-counter soothing pills includes amino acids, as well as herbal preparations based on St. John's wort, valerian, motherwort, mint, and chamomile.

The best sedatives without prescriptions

For mild psychosomatic disorders, it is useful to take sedatives for the nervous system of an adult without prescriptions. Herbal components and amino acids in the composition of such preparations can quickly relieve psycho-emotional stress, reduce anxiety, increase mental activity, restore healthy sleep without night awakenings.

The list of sedatives without prescriptions includes preparations with lemon balm and valerian - Dormiplant, Persen, Novo-Passit. nine0003

Certain drugs for nervous tension are suitable for suppressing anxiety attacks and treating nocturnal enuresis in children.

Use of tablets for nervous tension

In the event of a nervous breakdown, psycho-emotional health is helped to keep sedatives from nerves without prescriptions.

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