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Psychotropic drugs

Antidepressants
Neuroleptics
Nootropic drugs
Normotimichesky drugs
Sedatives
The means stimulating the central nervous system
Tranquilizers
Mean the medicines having specific therapeutic or preventive effect on mentally sick by psychotropic drugs.

The means applied in the different fields of medicine can have any given impact on mental functions. Signs of excitement or oppression of central nervous system, disturbance of attention and intellectual working capacity, other central effects are quite often noted as by-effects when using different drugs.

Distinctive feature of psychotropic drugs is their specific positive influence on mental functions providing their medical activity at disturbances of activity of central nervous system.

The first modern psychotropic drugs were created in the early fifties of the XX century. Before the arsenal of the means applied to treatment of mental diseases was very limited and low-specific. Hypnotic drugs and sedatives, insulin, caffeine were the main drugs used for this purpose; Corazolum was applied to convulsive therapy of schizophrenia. In neurotic disorders used mainly bromides, sedatives of plant origin, hypnotic drugs in small (sedative) doses.

In 1952 the specific efficiency of Chlorpromazinum (aminazine) and reserpine at treatment of mentally sick was found. Numerous analogs of aminazine and reserpine were soon synthesized and studied and it was shown that derivatives of these and other classes of chemical compounds can have favorable effect at treatment of schizophrenia and other psychoses, maniacal syndromes, neurotic disorders, acute alcoholic psychoses and other disturbances of the central nervous system functions.

In 1957 the first antidepressants (iproniazid, Imipraminum) were discovered. Then found tranquilizing properties of meprobamate (Meprotanum) and derivatives of benzodiazepine.

The new group of psychotropic drugs - <ноотропов>which first representative was a piracetam appeared in the early seventies.

The section of pharmacology which is engaged in studying the substances entering into these groups received the name<психофармакология>, and drugs of the specified types of action began to be called psychopharmacological means. These means were united in the general group<психотропные препараты>.

Now mean a wide range of the substances affecting mental functions, an emotional state and behavior by psychopharmacological means. Many of them found application as valuable medicines in psychiatric and neurologic practice and also in somatic medicine. They are appointed the patient therapeutic, surgical, oncological and other profiles for treatment and prevention of mental disorders of boundary level.

Soon after discovery of the first psychotropic drugs an attempt of their classification was made.

In 1967 the Congress of psychiatrists in Zurich suggested to divide these drugs into two groups: a) the antipsychotic substances applied mainly at heavy disturbances of activity of central nervous system (psychoses) and b) the tranquilizing substances applied at less significant disturbances of the central nervous system functions, mainly in neurosises with a condition of mental tension and fear. Aminazine and other derivatives of a fenotiazin, reserpine belong to antipsychotic substances on this classification; to tranquilizers - pro-pan-diol derivatives (Meprotanum, etc.) and diphenylmethane derivatives (amizyl, etc.).

Antipsychotic substances originally were called<нейроплегики>. The term (the means blocking nervous system) was offered for designation of the substances causing adjustable braking of a neurovegetative system and applied to an artificial dream with cooling of an organism (hibernation). The term<транквилизаторы> corresponds to a concept<успокаивающие средства>. Tranquilizers were designated also as<атарактими><антифобические средства><анксиолитические вещества>, etc. The Greek word<аtаrаxia> means<спокойствие духа>,<равнодушие> (from here). The term, or, is connected with ability of some drugs to have the calming effect at the morbid conditions which are followed by fear and emotional tension.

In 1966 the scientific group of WHO offered the following classification for psychotropic drugs:
  • A. Neuroleptics, they <антипсихотические средства>which were earlier designated as big tranquilizers or<атарактики>; derivatives of a fenotiazin, phenyl propyl ketone, thioxanthene, reserpine and similar to it substances concern them. These substances render therapeutic effect in psychoses and other mental disorders. The side effect caused by these substances - extrapyramidal symptoms is characteristic.

  • B. The anxiolytic sedatives which were earlier called<малые транквилизаторы>, lowering pathological fear, tension, excitement; they usually have anticonvulsant activity, do not cause vegetative and extrapyramidal collateral zffekt; can cause accustoming. Meprobamate (Meprotanum) and its analogs, derivatives of a diazepoksid (benzodiazepine), including chlordiazepoxide (Chlozepidum), diazepam (Sibazonum), etc. concern them.

  • B. Antidepressants - the substances applied at treatment of pathological depressions. Sometimes they are called<психические энергизаторы> as well<тимолептики>. This group includes ingibitorm MAO, Imipraminum (imipramine) and other tricyclic antidepressants.

  • G. Psychostimulants to which Phenaminum and its analogs, caffeine belong.

  • D. Psychotomimetics (hallucinogens) called also<психозомиметические вещества>. Diethyl amide of lysergic acid, a mescaline, a psilocybin, etc. belong to this group.


The terminology accepted in these classifications to some extent remained still, however the maintenance of concepts changed a little. Also classification of psychotropic drugs is specified.

In terms of applied medicine it is more reasonable to divide psychotropic drugs into the following main groups: a) neuroleptics (antipsychotic means); b) tranquilizers; c) sedatives; d) antidepressants; e) normotimichesky means; e) nootropic means; g) psychogogic means.

Each of the specified groups of psychotropic drugs is divided into subgroups depending on the chemical structure, the mechanism of action, pharmacological properties and therapeutic use of the drugs entering into these groups.

Psikhozomimetichesky substances, or the hallucinogens having strong psychotropic effect, but not having use as medicines are not included into this classification of psychotropic drugs.
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