NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms
The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,470 terms related to cancer and medicine.
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- central nervous system depressant
- listen (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.