barbiturates

[ (bahr-bich-uh-rits, bahr-bich-uh-rayts) ]

Substances derived from an organic compound that are used as sedatives and sleep inducers. Barbiturates, which work by depressing the activity of the central nervous system, are sometimes used in the treatment of illnesses such as epilepsy.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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