Seven structurally-related compounds consisting of three antidepressant drugs (imipramine, desmethylimipramine and amitriptyline), three tranquillizing agents (promazine, chlorpromazine and chlorprothixene) and a hybrid, desmethylpromazine, have been examined in a series of tests involving autonomic functions and antagonism of reserpine.
The known sesquiterpene valeranone (= Yatamanson) was isolated from the subterranian parts of Nardostachys yatamansi (DC). It was pharmacologically investigated in animal experiments of sedative, tranquilizing and antihypertensive properties. In some experiments, typical for tranquilizers, certain activities could be demonstrated such as the prolongation of barbiturate hypnosis, the impairment of rotarod performance, an anticonvulsive activity on electric shock and potentiation of the body-temperature lowering activity of reserpine.
The psychotropic drugs in the treatment of chronic pain have value in several areas. They not only influence the mood of the patient but also provide hypnosis, augment the activity of the analgesics and exhibit analgesic potency in their own right. They may be used alone, or in combination with analgesic agents or with each other. The three most valuable groups are the antidepressants, tranquillizers and anticonvulsants, all of which exert their effect by influencing the intracerebral levels of various neurotransmitter amines.
The decoction of the leaves of Nyctanthes arbor tristis Linn. (Harsingar) is widely used in Ayurvedic system of medicine for the treatment of sciatica, arthritis, fevers, various painful conditions and as laxative. In the present investigation, the water soluble portion of the alcoholic extract of the leaves was screened for some CNS activities (viz. hypnotic, tranquilizing, local anaesthetic, hypothermic, anticonvulsant), antihistaminic and purgative activities.