Definition

A benzodiazepine derivative used as an anticonvulsant and hypnotic.

Description

Nitrazepam is only found in individuals that have used or taken this drug. It is a benzodiazepine derivative used as an anticonvulsant and hypnotic. Nitrazepam belongs to a group of medicines called benzodiazepines. It acts on benzodiazepine receptors in the brain which are associated with the GABA receptors causing an enhanced binding of GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) to GABAA receptors. GABA is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, involved in inducing sleepiness, muscular relaxation and control of anxiety and fits, and slows down the central nervous system. The anticonvulsant properties of nitrazepam and other benzodiazepines may be in part or entirely due to binding to voltage-dependent sodium channels rather than benzodiazepine receptors. Sustained repetitive firing seems to be limited by benzodiazepines effect of slowing recovery of sodium channels from inactivation.

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