Analeptic agents are ones that induce seizures. They can cause so much stimulation that they causes seizures. We used to have a drug specifically for that purpose, but not anymore. Back in the day, if the patient was not responsive to any drugs used to treat their depression, they would be given an analeptic. Nowadays if the patient is unresponsive, it’s dealt with electrical currents and shock therapy, but they still need the approval of three different psychiatrists that approve of it.
So what are analeptics used for nowadays?
In case of an overdose of a barbiturate or alcohol which blocks the respiratory drive.
It can also be useful to hasten the recovery from a general anesthetic and acute respiratory insufficiency in COPD.
- Doxapram (Dopram) – inj. – Doxapram stimulates the respiratory drive in your brain and it stimulates it at a dose just before one that would induce a seizure. So it’s still called an analeptic agent even though we’re not inducing a seizure but getting pretty close to it.