(Science: pharmacology) A medication with a calming, soothing effect that relieves anxiety.

Most sedatives can also promote sleep. Overdosage of a sedative medication can lead to dangerous respiratory depression (slowed breathing). A large group of medications with sedative effects are the benzodiazepines.

The first tranquilliser librium (chlordiazepoxidehydrochloride) was developed by the Hoffman-la Roche in 1958. The word tranquillise entered the english language much earlier (1623), and was derived from the latin tranquillus via the french tranquille meaning calm.

Examples include: diazepam, chlordiazepoxide, alprazolam, clonazepam, temazepam, lorazepam, flurazepam, oxazepam, clorazepate and triazolam.

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