Depression of respiratory and vasomotor center in the brainstem
Major therapeutic use is to relief anxiety (anxiolytics) or induce sleep (hypnotics).
Hypnotic effects can be achieved with most anxiolytic drugs just by increasing the dose.
The distinction between a "pathological" and "normal" state of anxiety is hard to draw, but in spite of, or despite of, this diagnostic vagueness, anxiolytics are among the most prescribed substances worldwide.
Manifestations of anxiety :
Verbal complaints. The patient says he/she is anxious, nervous, edgy.
Somatic and autonomic effects . The patient is restless and agitated, has tachycardia, increased sweating, weeping and often gastrointestinal disorders.
Social effects . Interference with normal productive activities.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) : People suffering from GAD have general symptoms of motor tension, autonomic hyperactivity, etc. for at least one month.
Phobic anxiety :
Simple phobias. Agoraphobia, fear of animals, etc.
Panic disorders : Characterized by acute attacks of fear as compared to the chronic presentation of GAD.
Obsessive-compulsive behaviors : These patients show repetitive ideas (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions).