What to take to calm down: a review of popular drugs

Why does a producer spend crazy money on running commercials on TV in prime time? Yes, because it does not see an ally in the doctors. In other words, studies show the ineffectiveness of these drugs, and doctors are not going to prescribe them to their patients. It remains to work with potential buyers directly: engage in lies from the TV screen, trying to do so that it does not contradict the law on advertising. The drug afobazol is presented as a means of "anxiety and stress," and in the instruction it is advised to bravely treat this generalized anxiety disorder with this medicine. This is an example of the fact that the boldness of drug manufacturers in Russia knows no boundaries. Here, the flu is advised to treat with sugar balls, and generalized anxiety disorder with afobazole. It is necessary to understand: the promises made from the TV screen are unlikely to come true.

Instructions written for the doctor

The list of indications in the instructions to dietary supplements and some drugs is often unnecessarily broad. And can introduce a person without medical education into confusion. For example, in the instructions for the drug tenoten can detect neurosis and neurosis-like states, as well as organic brain damage. But, of course, an adequate specialist will never treat a brain contusion and its consequences with a homeopathic remedy. And in the "testimony" to the tablets with an extract of valerian, and you can meet a migraine. In the modern scientific community, attempts to treat migraine with valerian can cause only Homeric laughter.

Therefore, the patient's instruction should be taken as an abstract set of testimony, which is not very relevant to reality. There is one more reason not to read this piece of paper written on both sides in small print. Careful examination of contraindications and side effects can increase the patient's negative experiences and anxiety. The opposite effect will turn out: the medicine will provoke a deterioration of the condition even before it is taken.

Medicines need to be selected individually.

We'll have to accept the idea that the selection of a sedative at random is not very effective. The doctor in the appointment of a sedative takes into account comorbidities, causes of anxiety and other symptoms, the patient's age and much more. A universal sedative, alas, does not exist.

What to take to calm down: a review of popular drugs

Causes of anxiety may be different.

And this will also determine the choice of sedative. Sometimes anxiety is a companion to depression, and treatment is not possible without antidepressants. In another case, the anxiety is situational. For example, associated with public speaking. It does not help valerian and motherwort, and need the help of a therapist. It may also be that anxiety and irritability are the tip of the iceberg, a manifestation of a serious physical illness, for example, thyrotoxicosis. And here you need to bring the thyroid hormones back to normal, and sedatives may not be useful at all.

Soothing on a plant basis

Herbal preparations. The most popular are alcoholic tinctures of valerian, peony and motherwort. Their active ingredients are essential oils and alkaloids. To feel at least some effect, you will have to be patient: the effect of such drugs is cumulative. In addition, doctors do not approve alcohol in the composition of these drugs.It has not only a sedative, but also a toxic effect. A healthy young man with a situational insomnia may not notice this. And for a grandmother with a bouquet of chronic diseases, the negative effect of alcohol in plant tincture can be significant. All the listed herbal preparations official medicine does not favor. Vegetable raw materials may differ in action depending on the time and place of collection, storage conditions and many other factors. Therefore, it is difficult to foresee the effect of medicines on the basis of lemon balm, mint, valerian, chamomile, hops or passiflora. The extract of valerian tablets is currently prescribed only to suspicious pregnant women on the principle: “There will be no harm, but the placebo effect, you see, will work.”

Hypericum Extract

This plant is worth mentioning separately, because he had an antidepressant effect, confirmed by clinical studies. Therefore, some experts believe that the means on the basis of the extract of Hypericum (Negrustin, Deprim) can be used in the treatment of mild and moderate depressions. However, here the question arises about the quality of plant materials: it is not clearhow to calculate the appropriate dose and whether it should be done when safe antidepressants have been synthesized long ago with a completely predictable effect and the ability to simply and clearly explain to the patient how to take these pills.


For some reason it is considered that this is a safe herbal remedy for all diseases: pressure, pain in the heart, anxiety and insomnia. In fact, it is a hellish mixture of phenobarbital (a rather toxic drug with a strong sedative, anticonvulsant and hypnotic effects), valerian, peppermint and alcohol. Abuse of Corvalol leads to serious problems: reduction of intellectual capabilities, memory deterioration up to catastrophic, especially in the elderly. Against the background of abrupt cancellation of Corvalol after a long reception, convulsions may occur. Phenobarbital in the composition of this medication changes the structure of sleep and makes it inferior, so the use of Corvalol as a sleeping pill is not the right decision.

What to take to calm down: a review of popular drugs

Other light sedatives

Homeopathic Remedies

Proponents of homeopathy claim that their drugs work in circumvention of the laws of physics and chemistry.For example, the drug Tenoten contains in ultra-low doses of antibodies to one of the brain proteins. How the sedative effect of this drug can be realized in practice is unclear. Even if some antibodies are present there, they will be broken down in the digestive system into amino acids that will be absorbed in the small intestine, and that’s the end of it. And if these antibodies penetrate in some magical way into the blood, it is not clear how this can help with anxiety. Of course, this drug can not boast of an evidence base. As doctors trust.


This is the amino acid necessary for the normal operation of the braking system in the brain. There are many stimulating neurotransmitters in the brain, but there are only two inhibitory ones - glycine and gamma-aminobutyric acid. But the sedative effect of the drug glycine is doubtful: the braking system in the brain is too complicated, and not all anxiety and irritability can be relieved by this amino acid. However, the doctor can prescribe glycine in a complex treatment. This drug is loved by pediatricians for safety.

Phenibut (anvifen, noofen)

This medicine proudly bears the title of "the world's only tranquilonootrop".That is, it is designed to improve cognitive functions as a nootropic, and to have a sedative effect as a tranquilizer. Obviously, these two effects can not be realized simultaneously simply because they contradict each other. In practice, Phenibut has a mild sedative and hypnotic effect and no cognitive function of the brain improves. It can be taken as a sedative. But it is important to remember that drowsiness may occur, and therefore it is impossible to sit behind the wheel after taking this medication.

Tofizopam (grandaxine)

This is a “daytime” trakvilizator that helps relieve anxiety without causing drowsiness. Its disadvantage is weak action. For some types of anxiety disorders, on the contrary, it can increase the feeling of anxiety and panic. But for those who drive and suffer from periodic attacks of hatred of all things, this drug may be suitable.

Combinations of magnesium, lithium, vitamins of group B

Manufacturers emphasize that under stress, the nervous system is particularly hard to tolerate the lack of vitamins and trace elements.Therefore, their replenishment makes it easier to endure the hardships of life. However, studies show: the brain does not care how many vitamins, magnesium and lithium enters the body in a stressful situation. Ways to respond to stress are determined by heredity, hormonal status, and behavioral strategies learned in the process of life experience. Therefore, micronutrient supplements can help the nervous system only in situations of hunger, war, hardship or anorexia.

What to take to calm down: a review of popular drugs

How to find the perfect sedative

When choosing a sedative, it is important to understand the context of the situation. Thirty drops of Corvalol once under severe stress, when there is nothing else at hand, can alleviate the condition and restore composure. Giving a hyperactive child a “safe” tenoten in months in the hope that he will accumulate and the baby’s behavior will finally improve, meaningless. It is necessary to look for the causes of hyperactivity and, if the pediatrician did not find them, contact a psychologist - a lot of new information may open up here and, probably, there will be a key to solve the problem. A suspicious student-student can take three or four tablets of glycine before the exam and immediately feel the meditative calm - this is a placebo effect, so why not,if it helped overcome anxiety before an important ordeal?

It is much worse when a patient tries to cure severe depression or anxiety disorder on his own with the help of homeopathic balls or advertised magnesium preparations, does not see the effect and loses faith in the possibility of improving his condition.

In September 2017, the rules for the release of sedative drugs in pharmacies changed. Now, the concept of "over-the-counter sedative" simply does not exist, and even for "harmless" drugs like afobazole or tenoten, you will need to get a prescription from a doctor of a certain form. Therefore, to do self-medication does not work, you have to go to the doctor. The search query “What to drink to calm down” finally goes down in history. Probably, he will gradually be replaced by a confidential conversation between the doctor and the patient, the search for the causes of anxiety and the selection of the optimal treatment that is right for you.

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