Sleeping Pills –
Tranquilizers – Barbiturates
By: Ngoc Giang
• Sleeping pills
• The differences and similarities
• Some brand names and their structures
• Their effects
• Side effects
• Conclusion and future directions
What are they???
(Tranquilizers – Sleeping Pills)
“Barb” = “Downers”
• A sedative: Drug that depresses
the central nervous system (CNS).
• Sedatives may be referred to as
tranquilizers, depressants, sleeping
pills, downers, etc.
• In the form of a pill or capsule
• Used to relieve insomnia
• Drugs that promote tranquility by
calming, soothing, quieting, or
pacifying without depressant
• Ex: hypothalamus (treatment of
tension and mental illness),
reserpine (modern Western
• Drugs that are used to treat patients
suffering from anxiety or who are
having trouble sleeping.
• Street names: “reds”, “red devils”,
“yellow jackets”, “blue heavens”,
“Christmas trees” and “rainbows”.
• Tranquilizers and sleeping pills belong to
a larger group of substances known as the
sedative-hypnotics, which slow down or
“sedate” the central nervous system
(CNS). Both are known as depressants
• Both may relieve anxiety and sleeping
• Barbiturates also belong to the CNS
• Barbiturates are also used to relieve
nervousness or restlessness.
• Conclusion: Sleeping pills
(sometimes referred as tranquilizers)
and barbiturates have similar effects.
• The main difference lies in their chemical
• In general, barbiturates are stronger.
• Sleeping pills reduce the amount of
activity in the brain further than
tranquilizers (make people fall asleep.)
• Some sleeping pills are not classified as
tranqulizers; they are barbiturates.
• Sleeping pills and tranquilizers treat the
symptoms of stress. The relief is only
• Tranquilizers may be used for the stress
of everyday life, (but they’re not meant to
be used for >7-10 days).
• Barbiturates should not be used for
anxiety or tension caused by the stress of
• Sleeping Pills
– Light headache • Tranquilizers
– Confusion – Drowsiness
– Forgetfulness – Sensitivity to light
– Dependence – Dry mouth
– Muscle – Difficulty urinating • Barbiturates
weakness – Decreased sexual – Memory
ability – Judgment
– Shakiness – Depression
– Blurred Vision – Anger
– Fast heart beat – Mood swings
– Slowed Movement
• Should not use sleeping pills and
tranquilizers for a long term. (more than a
• Should not use barbiturates too frequently
since they are strong.
• Don’t ever take these drugs with alcohol. It
might lead to death.
• Alcohol and heroin are also effect the
CNS, however, not the same way as
• Chemists always try to find better drugs to
help people’s problems, but no drugs
have no side effects. Therefore, try to find
a natural way to improve your health, not
the dependence on drugs.
• The most liable pills on the market today
are Zolpidem (Ambien) and Zaleplon
• Different experts may have different
opinions about offering these drugs. The
only way is not to use them for long-term.
• The dark side of sleeping pills – By Daniel