Also Known As:

Convulsant Drugs

Drug Classification:

Analeptic Stimulants, Central Nervous System Stimulants

What are Convulsants?

Convulsants are Analeptic Stimulants that speed up the activity of certain areas in the central nervous system, in order to induce convulsions.

The Central Nervous System consists of the nerve complex in the brain and spinal cord, and is responsible for processing and controlling most functions of the body and mind.

Convulsants were previously used to treat drug overdoses, and for shock therapy in psychiatric medicine. Drugs in this category are becoming increasingly obsolete for medical use, due to their potentially dangerous side effects and the introduction of more effective and safe medications for these applications. Convulsants are widely used in scientific research to test new anticonvulsant drugs, where convulsions are induced in captive animals and high doses of anticonvulsant drugs are then administered. They are also used as poisons for exterminating pests.

Convulsants work by affecting the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which stimulate the activity of the central nervous system. The exact chemicals affected will depend on the specific drug but include: Glycine, GABA, Ionotropic Glutamate and Acetylcholine.

Convulsants generally act as stimulants at low doses, but are not used for this purpose due to the risk of convulsions and consequent excitotoxicity. Many other drugs may cause convulsions as a side effect at high doses, but only drugs whose primary action is to cause convulsions are known as Convulsants. Convulsant Drugs have the opposite effect to Anticonvulsant Drugs.

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Published Date:

15th April 2019


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