Depressants will induce sleep, relieve anxiety and muscle spasms, and prevent seizures.
Barbiturates are older drugs and include butalbital (Fiorina®), phenobarbital, Pentothal®, Seconal®, and Nembutal®. A person can rapidly develop dependence on and tolerance to barbiturates.
Benzodiazepines were developed to replace barbiturates, though they still share many of the undesirable side effects including tolerance and dependence. Some examples are Valium®, Xanax®, Halcion®, Ativan®, Klonopin®, and Restoril®.
Rohypnol® is a benzodiazepine that is not manufactured or legally marketed in the United States, but it is used illegally.
Other CNS depressants include meprobamate, methaqualone (Quaalude®), and the illicit drug GHB.
Most depressants are controlled substances that range from Schedule I to Schedule IV under the Controlled Substances Act, depending on their risk for abuse and whether they currently have an accepted medical use. Rohypnol® and Quaaludes® are not manufactured, legally marketed, and have no accepted medical use in
the United States.