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Psychotropic drugs

By psychotropic drugs is meant drugs that have a specific therapeutic or prophylactic effect on the mentally ill.
This or that effect on mental functions can be exerted by means used in various fields of medicine. Signs of central nervous system agitation or depression, impaired attention and mental workability, and other central effects are often noted as side effects when using different drugs.
A distinctive feature of psychotropic drugs is their specific positive effect on mental functions, which ensures their therapeutic activity in case of disorders of the central nervous system.
The first modern psychotropic drugs were created in the early 50s of the twentieth century. Prior to this, the arsenal of drugs used to treat mental illness was very limited and not very specific. The main drugs used for this purpose were hypnotics and sedatives, insulin, caffeine; for convulsive therapy of schizophrenia, corazole was used. In neurasthenic disorders, mainly bromides, plant sedatives, hypnotics in small (sedative) doses were used.
In 1952, the specific effectiveness of chlorpromazine (chlorpromazine) and reserpine in the treatment of mentally ill patients was discovered. Numerous analogues of chlorpromazine and reserpine were synthesized and studied soon, and it was shown that derivatives of these and other classes of chemical compounds can have a beneficial effect in the treatment of schizophrenia and other psychoses, manic syndromes, neurotic disorders, acute alcohol psychoses and other disorders of the central nervous system.
In 1957, the first antidepressants (iproniazide, imipramine) were discovered. Then, the tranquilizing properties of meprobamate (meprotan) and benzodiazepine derivatives were discovered.
A new group of psychotropic drugs - "nootropics", the first representative of which was piracetam, appeared in the early 70s.
The pharmacology section, which studies the substances in these groups, was called “psychopharmacology”, and the drugs of these types of action became known as psychopharmacological agents. These funds were combined into a common group of “psychotropic drugs”.
Currently, psychopharmacological agents mean a wide range of substances that affect mental functions, emotional state, and behavior. Many of them have found application as valuable medicines in psychiatric and neurological practice, as well as in general medicine. They are prescribed for patients with therapeutic, surgical, oncological and other profiles for the treatment and prevention of mental disorders of the borderline level.
Soon after the discovery of the first psychotropic drugs, an attempt was made to classify them.
In 1967, the Congress of Psychiatrists in Zurich proposed to divide these drugs into two groups: a) antipsychotics, used mainly for severe disorders of the central nervous system (psychoses), and b) tranquilizing substances, used for less pronounced disorders of the central nervous system, in case of neurosis with a state of mental stress and fear. Antipsychotic substances according to this classification include chlorpromazine and other phenothiazine derivatives, reserpine; to tranquilizers - derivatives of propanediol (meprotan and others) and diphenylmethane derivatives (amisil and others).
Neuroleptic substances were originally called "neuroplegics". Ter min < > (drugs that block the nervous system) was proposed to indicate substances that cause << controlled inhibition of the neuro-vegetative system> and are used for artificial sleep with cooling the body (hibernation). The term << tranquilizers >> corresponds to the concept of “sedatives”. Tranquilizers were also designated as “ata rattimi”, “anti-phobic drugs”, “anxiolytic substances” and others. The Greek word “ataraxia” means “peace of mind”, “indifference” (hence < >). Term < >, or < >, is associated with the ability of some drugs to have a calming effect in pathological conditions accompanied by fear and emotional tension.
In 1966, the WHO scientific group proposed the following classification for psychotropic drugs.
A. Neuroleptics, they are also “antipsychotic drugs”, previously designated as “large tranquilizers”, or “ataraptics”; These include derivatives of phenothiazine, butyrophenone, thioxanthene, reserpine, and the like. These substances have a therapeutic effect in psychoses and other mental disorders. The side effect characteristically caused by these substances is extrapyramidal symptoms.
B. anxiolytic sedatives, previously called "small tranquilizers", lowering pathological fear, tension, agitation; they usually have anticonvulsant activity, do not cause autonomic and extrapyramidal side effects; can be addictive. These include meprobamate (meprotan) and its analogues, derivatives of diazepoxide (benzodiazepine), including chlordiazepoxide (chlozepide), diazepam (sibazon), etc.
B. Antidepressants are substances used in the treatment of pathological depressive states. Sometimes they are also called << psychic energizers >> and << timoleptics >>. This group includes MAO inhibitor, imipramine (imizine) and other tricyclic antidepressants.
D. Psychostimulants, which include phenamine and its analogues, caffeine.
D. Psychodysleptics (hallucinogens), also called “psychosomimetic substances”. Lysergic acid diethylamide, mescaline, psilocybin, etc. belong to this group.
The terminology adopted in these classifications has, to one degree or another, been preserved until now, but the content of concepts has somewhat changed. The classification of psychotropic drugs has also been clarified.
From the point of view of practical medicine, it is more expedient to divide psychotropic drugs into the following main groups: a) antipsychotics (antipsychotics); b) tranquilizers; c) sedatives; d) anti depressants; e) normotymic drugs; e) nootropic drugs; g) psychostimulating agents.
Each of these groups of psychotropic drugs is divided into subgroups, depending on the chemical structure, mechanism of action, pharmacological properties and therapeutic use of the drugs included in these groups.
Psychosomimetic substances, or hallucinogens that have a strong psychotropic effect, but do not have use as drugs, are not included in this classification of psychotropic drugs.

Subgroup Psychotropic drugs include drugs: