Anxiolytics are psychotropic drugs that suppress or reduce the severity of anxiety, fear, emotional stress.
Anxiolytic drugs have a wide spectrum of pharmacological action. They do not only have an anxiolytic effect, but also have sedative, hypnotic, muscle relaxing, anticonvulsant, amnestic and vegetostabilising action. The anxiolytic effect results in the reduction of anxiety, fear (antiphobic action), emotional tension.
Sedative (calming) effect manifests as a reduction of psychomotor excitability, daily activities, decreased concentration, decreased reaction rate, and others.
Hypnotic action of the drug is there to facilitate sleep onset and increase its duration. The repressive effect of anxiolytics on the CNS causes a mutual strengthening of the effects of hypnotics, anesthetic and analgesic agents.
Myorelaxation effect (relaxation of skeletal muscles) in the application of anxiolytics is usually a positive factor for stress relief or agitation, including motor agitation. However, this effect may limit the use of drugs in patients whose work requires rapid mental and physical reactions. It should also be taken into account that muscle relaxant effects can manifest in a sense of lethargy, weakness, etc.
Anticonvulsant action is expressed in suppressing the spread of epileptogenic activity occurring in the epileptic focus.
Amnestic effect (ability to cause amnesia) occurs mainly in parenteral administration( in the form of injection). The mechanism of this effect is not yet clear.
The spectrum of action of some tranquilizers includes vegetostabilising effect (normalization of the functional activity of the autonomic nervous system). Clinically, this effect can manifest the decrease in autonomic expressions of anxiety (tachycardia, hypertension, sweating, function disorders of the digestive system, etc.).
Anxiolytic drugs are clinically used mainly due to their anti-anxiety effect. Anxiolytics are used in all types of anxiety disorders, moreover, they can be used for the treatment of anxiety conditions or for the short-term elimination of the symptoms of anxiety.