The carbamates were the first anxiolytics to be marketed. In fact, this class of medicines appeared in 1950. They have gradually been replaced by the benzodiazepines.
How do carbamates work?
Carbamates have both myorelaxant and sedative effects. Their mechanism of action is still poorly understood. They are believed to act on GABA neurotransmitter receptors.
Do they have any contraindications or precautions?
Carbamates cause daytime drowsiness at the start of treatment. These medicines can also cause allergic skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, accommodation problems, and liver problems particularly during long term treatments. Carbamates can also cause dependency.
- Merck Manual, 4th edition
- Pharmacorama, website accessed on 17 July 2011
- University of Strasbourg, website accessed on 5 August 2011
Carbamates: the first anxiolytics. © Phovoir