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Sedatives are drugs that relax, reduce physiological and psychological stress, and make users more tranquil, hence the term tranquilizer that is sometimes used to describe their functionality. However, tranquilizers are intended to interfere minimally with the patient’s functioning while sedatives may provide more profound levels of relaxation. Hypnotics are drugs that are intended to provide a higher level of sedation and promote sleep. Some sedatives may be taken in larger, “hypnotic” dosages and hence, provide sleep. For example, the barbiturate secobarbital sodium taken at 100 mg is a strong sedative dose. To achieve sleep a dosage at twice that level would be optimal and would, hence, be considered a hypnotic dose. Lorazepam, a benzodiazepine, taken at 1 mg provides sedation and tranquilizing effects; 2 mg ...

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