Barbiturates pharmacology nursing review for NCLEX, nursing school. What is the barbiturates mechanism of action (MOA)? What do nurses need to know about barbiturates?
Barbiturates are a class or group of medications that depress the central nervous system (CNS). Therefore, they produce a calming and sedative effect to the central nervous system.
How to recognize them? Most generic names end with barbital or ital with an exception of drugs such as Primidone.
Barbiturates amplify the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) by influencing GABAA receptors. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter.
What is a neurotransmitter? It’s a chemical agent produced and released by a neuron that TRANSMITS messages to a specific structure that it was designed to target via that target’s special receptors. Many times the target is another neuron.
Neurotransmitters can be grouped as being excitatory or inhibitory. Some neurotransmitters can do both depending on where they are acting in the body. However, GABA is one of the main types of neurotransmitters in the body that is an inhibitory neurotransmitter.
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