NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,371 terms related to cancer and medicine.

We offer a widget that you can add to your website to let users look up cancer-related terms. Get NCI’s Dictionary of Cancer Terms Widget.

Browse:
central nervous system depressant
(SEN-trul NER-vus SIS-tem dee-PREH-sunt)
A type of drug that slows down brain activity, which causes the muscles to relax and calms and soothes a person. Central nervous system depressants are used to treat insomnia (trouble sleeping), anxiety, panic attacks, and seizures. They may also be used to relieve anxiety and tension before surgery. Examples of central nervous system depressants are benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and certain sleep medicines. Central nervous system depressants are sometimes called sedatives or tranquilizers. Also called CNS depressant.