Sedating effects of
While the drug was ineffective against the disease, it appeared to work as a sedative.
After the drug was patented in 1962, doctors in the UK began prescribing it to patients who had trouble sleeping; it started being widely used in the US in the '70s.
Sedation scales are used in medical situations in conjunction with a medical history in assessing the applicable degree of sedation in patients in order to avoid under-sedation (the patient risks experiencing pain or distress) and over-sedation (the patient risks side effects such as suppression of breathing, which might lead to death).
Typically, levels are (i) agitation, (ii) calm, (iii) responsive to voice alone, (iv) responsive to tactile stimulation, (v) responsive to painful stimulation only, and (vi) unresponsive to painful stimulation.
Quaaludes' effects — which can include sleepiness and a sense of euphoria — are strikingly similar to those of modern date-rape drugs, including alcohol.
(Booze is "the drug most commonly used to help commit sexual assault," according to the US Department of Health.) Quaaludes, or methaqualone, were first produced in labs in India in 1955; the scientists who made the drug were trying to find a cure for malaria.
Sedation is also used extensively in the intensive care unit so that patients who are being ventilated tolerate having an endotracheal tube in their trachea.
Quaaludes are a type of sedative, which work in the brain by halting the functioning of our "excitatory" messengers, the ones that typically increase our energy levels, and boosting the activity of our "inhibitory" messengers, those that usually work to calm things down. The key important inhibitory messenger that quaaludes act on is GABA, short for gamma-aminobutyric acid.
Jordan Belfort, the man who inspired the film "The Wolf of Wall Street," described his experience with the drug in his autobiography: All at once a warm feeling came rising up my brain stem, as a pleasant tingling sensation went ricocheting through every molecule of my body. This action is why quaaludes make us drowsy and slow down our heart rate and breathing.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists defines the continuum of sedation as follows: In the United Kingdom, deep sedation is considered to be a part of the spectrum of general anesthesia, as opposed to conscious sedation.
Prior to any oral sedation methods being used on a patient, screening must be done to identify possible health concerns.
Yet Cosby acknowledged that he got seven prescriptions from a Los Angeles doctor for quaaludes, lab-produced pills that act to suppress the central nervous system, which slows heart rate and can make users feel relaxed or sedated.