At higher doses it may result in slurred speech, staggering gait, poor judgment, and slow, uncertain reflexes.
More horses than ever are living into their 30s, thanks to improving veterinary care and the fierce determination of owners to provide their loved companions with a happy and healthy retirement.
Exactly when a horse should be considered old will vary greatly.
Sedatives can be misused to produce an overly-calming effect (alcohol being the classic and most common sedating drug).
In the event of an overdose or if combined with another sedative, many of these drugs can cause unconsciousness (see hypnotic) and even death.
Malcolm Lader at the Institute of Psychiatry in London estimates the incidence of these adverse reactions at about 5%, even in short-term use of the drugs.
The paradoxical reactions may consist of depression, with or without suicidal tendencies, phobias, aggressiveness, violent behavior and symptoms sometimes misdiagnosed as psychosis.
When users become psychologically dependent, they feel as if they need the drug to function, although physical dependence does not necessarily occur, particularly with a short course of use.
In both types of dependences, finding and using the sedative becomes the focus in life.
Sedatives can sometimes leave the patient with long-term or short-term amnesia.
Lorazepam is one such pharmacological agent that can cause anterograde amnesia.
Some sedatives can cause psychological and physical dependence when taken regularly over a period of time, even at therapeutic doses.