Topics: Benzodiazepine, Barbiturate, Hypnotic Pages: 2 (414 words) Published: April 15, 2009
On the day of the Saint Barbara in 1864, German chemist, Adolph Von Baeyer synthesized malonylurea. Baeyer who became the founder of Bayer Chemical Co. and won the Nobel Prize in 1905 stumbled upon the invention of Barbituric acid. In the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries chemists had few tools to figure out what chemicals did, so they would test them on themselves. Well someone tested this acid and found that it had no therapeutic significance at all. Though thought that this acid was useless it was actually used later by Fischer and Von Mering to create barbiturates.

Fischer and Von Mering were the first duo to create a therapeutically active barbiturate. They got this compound by substituting two ethyl groups for two hydrogens attached to a carbon. This substance was found to induce sleep. This type of sleep aid is called somnolent or hypnotic.

There is a mix up on how the drug got its name. There are two versions one is that when they found out they made the substance they were in Verona. And the other is that the drug relaxes the mind just like Verona. The problem with this drug was that it took a long time to take effect and to wear off so many people did not like it. So they tried to make it more efficient so that it would start working faster and wear off in a shorter amount of time. This substance was used as anesthesia before surgery. The short acting barbiturates are called evipal, thiopental, and brevital. Widely known barbiturates are Valium and Halicon.

Benzodiazepines have replaced barbiturates in therapy except in anesthesia. In today’s world the most common one is phenobarbitol because it is cheap.
In general they are known as brain relaxers, in the same type of effect as alcohol. In small doses the person feels drowsy, disinhibited, and intoxicated. In higher doses the person staggers, slurred speech, and confused. At even higher doses the person can fall into a coma or even death.

The difference of dosage is a narrow...
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