EENT and Sleep Disorders Q 20 - Gyan Darpan : Learning Portal
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Wednesday, 23 March 2022

EENT and Sleep Disorders Q 20

During patient teaching, the nurse explains the difference between a sedative and hypnotic by stating:
     A. “Sedatives are much stronger than hypnotic drugs and should only be used for short periods of time.”
     B. “Sedative drugs induce sleep, whereas hypnotic drugs induce a state of hypnosis.”
     C. “Most drugs produce sedation at low doses and sleep (the hypnotic effect) at higher doses.”
     D. “There really is no difference; the terms are used interchangeably.”

Correct Answer: C. “Most drugs produce sedation at low doses and sleep (the hypnotic effect) at higher doses.”

Many drugs have both sedative and hypnotic properties, with the sedative properties evident at low doses and the hypnotic properties demonstrated at larger doses. A sedative drug decreases activity, moderates excitement, and calms the recipient, whereas a hypnotic drug produces drowsiness and facilitates the onset and maintenance of a state of sleep that resembles natural sleep in its electroencephalographic characteristics and from which the recipient can be aroused easily.

Option A: Sedation is a side effect of many drugs that are not general CNS depressants (e.g., antihistamines and antipsychotic agents). Although such agents can intensify the effects of CNS depressants, they usually produce more specific therapeutic effects at concentrations far lower than those causing substantial CNS depression.
Option B: Sedatives cannot induce surgical anesthesia in the absence of other agents. The benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotics resemble such agents; although coma may occur at very high doses, neither surgical anesthesia nor fatal intoxication is produced by benzodiazepines in the absence of other drugs with CNS-depressant actions.
Option D: A sedative is a drug that produces a relaxing, calming effect. Sedatives are usually given during daytime hours, and although they may make the patient drowsy, they usually do not produce sleep. A hypnotic is a drug that induces sleep, that is, it allows the patient to fall asleep and stay asleep. Hypnotics also may be called soporifics. Hypnotics are given at night or hour of sleep (HS).

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