Among the barbiturates (see Chapter 30), three compounds, thiopental sodium (Pentothal Sodium), thiamy-lal sodium (Surital), and methohexital sodium (Brevital
Sodium), are useful as induction agents, as supplemental drugs only during short periods when surgery requires increased depth of anesthesia, or as maintenance hypnotics for short surgical procedures. These drugs are termed ultra-short-acting agents, since their rapid entry into the CNS is followed by relatively rapid redistribution of the drug to indifferent tissues, such as skeletal muscle. Because of their slow rate of metabolism, these agents, when used in large repeated doses or by continuous infusion, cause persistent hypnosis or subtle mental cloudiness.
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Hypnosis is a capital instrument for relaxation and alleviating stress. It helps calm down both the brain and body, giving a useful rest. All the same it can be rather costly to hire a clinical hypnotherapist, and we might not always want one around when we would like to destress.