Agent that decreases functional activity, diminishes irritability, and allays excitement. Some have a general effect on all organs. Others principally affect the activities of the heart, stomach, intestines, nerve trunks, respiratory system, or vasomotor system. Usual mode of action is depression of the central nervous system, which tends to cause lassitude and reduced mental activity. May be used to induce sleep or as a hypnotic (known as sedative-hypnotics). Benzodiazepines are commonly employed. Any agent which produces sedation.
SEDATIVE: "The patient can only sleep with the assistance of sedatives."