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Anxiolytics are drugs used to treat feelings of anxiety or nervousness caused by stress or psychological problems. They are also used for sleeplessness and other problems. Anxiolytics are also known as hypnotics, sleeping pills, minor tranquillisers and sedatives.

Benzodiazepines are the most commonly used anxiolytics as they have fewer side effects than other anxiolytics such as barbiturates. Benzodiazepines include diazepam (Valium), buspirone (BuSpar) and lorazepam (Ativan).

Benzodiazepines are believed to work by modifying the amount and action of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

Some people think that anxiolytics can be used treat people on the autism spectrum who suffer from anxiety, nervousness, sleeplessness or other problems.

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This glossary is designed to explain some of the jargon and gobbledygook used by some people when they talk about autism or research..

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The fact that an intervention is listed in this glossary does not necessarily mean that we agree with its use. Nor does it necessarily mean that there is any scientifically valid or reliable evidence behind it.