Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Sedatives and Tranquilizers
Sedatives and tranquilizers are medicines that have a calming
effect. Generally, sedatives and tranquilizers depress or slow down certain
body functions or the activity of an organ, such as the heart.
Mild sedatives and tranquilizers may be used to reduce anxiety or
other nervous system problems, promote sleep, or regulate an organ system. For
example, light doses of sedatives can help reduce coughing, nausea, or
convulsions. Stronger doses of these substances may be used for severe sleep
problems, severe anxiety, symptoms related to psychotic disorders (such as
hallucinations or delusions), or as part of anesthesia. These types of
sedatives and tranquilizers should only be used as directed by a doctor because they can become habit-forming. Abuse of some stronger
substances can lead to severe health problems.
Current as of:
February 24, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.