10 best sedative pills

*A review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. This material is subjective, not an advertisement and is not intended as a guide to purchase. Before buying it is necessary to consult with an expert.

Contrary to the popular phrase, not all diseases are caused by nerves. But we have to admit that the level of stress in the life of modern man is literally off the scale. Consequences – insomnia, high blood pressure, unexplained anxiety, reduced immunity. Not to mention the fact that the “nervous” person is rarely able to keep his emotions to himself, “unloading” on the close ones and maintaining the cycle of stress in society.

The trouble is that the popular advice “not to get nervous” and “pull yourself together” is in practice completely useless. Stress, anxiety, negative emotions in the body triggers a complex chain of biochemical interactions, the release of specific hormones, neurotransmitters – substances that alter the activity of the nervous system. In principle it is impossible to stop chemical reactions by an effort of will. But this is successfully solved with soothing remedies.

In compiling the rating of the best sedative pills, we paid attention, above all, to affordable drugs that do not require regular monitoring by a doctor when using. Those who need “heavy artillery” will need to consult a specialist: a neurologist or psychiatrist.

Ranking of the best sedative pills

Nominationplaceproduct nameprice
The best herbal pills1St. John’s wort extract326€
Best sedative pills for kids1Glycine33€
3Magnet B6480€
The best synthetic sedatives1Afobazol378€
The best sedative dietary supplements1Tryptophan765€
2Gamma-aminobutyric acid1 040€

The best sedative tablets based on herbal extracts

Herbs – the first pharmacy of mankind. But phytopreparations, that is, dried plant parts, themselves have some disadvantages. First, their content of useful substances can vary greatly depending on the place and time of growth, time of collection, environmental conditions. That’s why the result is not always predictable. Secondly, in addition to useful substances plants can be harmful: lead from soil, if the plants were collected “grandmother” near the highway, pesticides that treat fields. Therefore, modern pharmacology uses not herbs per se, but extracts of useful substances – plant extracts. They can be reduced to standard doses and have predictable results.

Telling in our rating about drugs created on the basis of herbal extracts, we want to remind: “Herbs”, although generally safer than “chemical” drugs, also have dosage limits, contraindications and side effects, which must be taken into account.

The effect of receiving any herbal products is cumulative, so that it can manifest itself requires 2 – 3 weeks of regular use. Therefore, before drawing conclusions about whether the medicine helps or not, you need to wait, and if the stress is acute and requires some urgent action, it is better to use tablets with synthetic active substance.

St. John’s wort extract

Rating: 4.9

Deprim Forte

Trade names: Negrustin, Deprim Forte, Neuroplant.

The fact that St. John’s wort acts as a known antidepressant, regulating the amount of serotonin in the nervous system, became known in the 80s of the last century. Later studies have confirmed the soothing properties of this herb. Hypericin, pseudohypericin and hyperforin, which are active substances, improve the functional state of the nervous system and have a psychostabilizing effect. After taking tablets based on St. John’s wort extract gradually improve mood, aligned psycho-emotional background, reduces anxiety. St. John’s wort active ingredients normalize sleep, restore activity and performance, reduce bodily manifestations of anxiety and depression such as high blood pressure, sweating, weakness.

Unlike many sedatives, St. John’s wort extract does not cause drowsiness, and it can be used by those who drive a car or work in an environment that requires concentration and quick reactions.

St. John’s wort extract can be taken from 1 to 3 times a day, depending on how you feel. Among the side effects the most frequent – allergies, possibly unpleasant feelings in the abdomen (dyspepsia).

St. John’s wort increases sensitivity to sunlight, so taking it in the summer is better to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, and if it is impossible, use sunscreen. It enhances the effect of traditional antidepressants, so this combination is best avoided. In addition, it is not recommended to take St. John’s wort simultaneously with theophylline, cyclosporines, anticonvulsants. Women who use hormonal contraceptives, should be aware that St. John’s wort weakens their effect, so while it is used, it is better to use additional means of protection against unwanted pregnancy.

Not recommended for pregnant women, children under 12 years of age.


  • natural composition,
  • High effectiveness in the initial stages of depression is comparable to “heavy” antidepressants.


  • Increases sensitivity to the sun.


Rating: 4.8


Contains extracts of valerian, lemon balm and mint. Plant components are chosen so as to reinforce each other’s action. Due to melissa and mint, which are not only sedative, but also mild antispasmodics, it is optimal in situations where stress is accompanied by the so-called psychosomatic manifestations – abdominal pain, “bear sickness”, headaches, a slight increase in blood pressure. For the same reason, Persen should not be used by people prone to hypotension and fainting – the antispasmodic effect also applies to the smooth muscles of the vessels, which may excessively lower the BP. It is also not recommended for cholelithiasis – mint has a weak choleretic effect, which can “move” the stones.

The daily dosage of Persen: 2 – 3 pills, you can take them both evenly throughout the day, and once before going to bed, if the main complaint – difficulty falling asleep. If the minimum dosage does not help, you can increase the number of capsules taken up to 12 per day – of course, in this case, they should not be used all at once, but throughout the day.

Possible side effects – an allergic reaction to the herbal components of the tablets, with prolonged use of Persen constipation is possible, again due to the antispasmodic properties of melissa and mint.

Due to the lack of safety data, you should not use persen to pregnant, lactating and children under 12 years of age – for obvious reasons, it is impossible to conduct research on these groups of patients.


  • natural composition,
  • safety of use.


  • Relatively high price for common herb extracts.


Rating: 4.7


Contains seven medicinal extracts that mutually potentiate each other and the semi-synthetic agent guaifenesin.

The plants that make up Novo-Passit:

  1. valerian,
  2. melissa,
  3. St. John’s wort,
  4. hawthorn,
  5. Passiflora (passionflower),
  6. Hop,
  7. black elderberry.

Hawthorn and lemon balm, in addition to sedative (sedative) effects have a mild hypotensive effect, ie, the ability to reduce blood pressure. Passionflower and hops reduce anxiety and improve sleep. Elderberry has sedative and restorative properties.

Guaifenesin is a semi-synthetic substance based on an extract of the guaiac tree. Traditionally used as an expectorant, but over time it has been found to have anxiolytic, that is, anti-anxiety properties, as well as enhancing the sedative and sleeping effects of other drugs. Actually, that’s why it was added to Novo-Passit.

Recently there is evidence that hop extract contains phytoestrogens – plant substances with an effect similar to that of female sex hormones. Therefore Novo-Passit is primarily suitable for women of age, to correct the effects of hormonal changes on the emotional sphere. It can also be useful for headaches and migraines caused by stress, insomnia.

Take a tablet three times a day.

Among the side effects, the most frequent are allergies and increased drowsiness. That is why Novo-Passit is not recommended for people driving a car or those whose work requires attention and quick reaction.

Contraindicated before the age of 12 years.


  • complex compound.


  • Not recommended for those who drive,
  • May cause constipation with prolonged use.

The best sedative pills for children

We have included in this section of the rating tablets that are approved for use in children over three years of age. The fact is that according to the experts of the Ministry of Health, which created the criteria according to which the drugs are registered, at the age of under three years any pills are contraindicated in principle, because it is difficult for babies to swallow them and there is a considerable risk that the child will choke. That’s why there are all sorts of drops, syrups, phyto teas for younger children. Calming pills can only be used after three years.

But before grasping for drugs, especially when it comes to babies, it is better to start with time-tested non-drug methods. For babies, soothing baths with valerian, motherwort or peppermint are good: the skin of babies is able to absorb the medication. Older children will suit warm baths with sea salt. Still you can put in bed flavored pads, which are stitched inside the same soothing herbs. Of course, all this is acceptable only if the child is not allergic and does not suffer from bronchial asthma – in this disease, phytotherapy in any form is contraindicated.

Do not prescribe medicine to your baby on your own, show it to the doctor: perhaps the cause of anxiety – a serious illness, and not stress. If the cause of his anxiety still lies in external factors: adaptation to kindergarten, overexertion, excessive impressions, the following pills can help.


Rating: 4.6


A medicine tested by generations of mothers. Strictly speaking, it is not a sedative, but a nootropic – a drug that normalizes processes in the central nervous system and increases mental performance. At the same time, it has properties:

  1. improve mood,
  2. Facilitate falling asleep and normalize the duration and depth of sleep,
  3. reduce psycho-emotional stress,
  4. reduce aggression,
  5. Improve social adjustment.

Glycine tablets should not be swallowed, but sucked up behind the cheek or under the tongue. The drug has a sweet taste, so children usually don’t mind taking it.

Healthy babies as a sedative glycine prescribed 1 tablet 3 times a day, the course of use from 2 weeks to a month. For sleep disorders, 1 tablet can be given at night.

The drug is contraindicated in cases of individual intolerance.


  • Time-tested tablets,
  • safety of use.


  • Should be sucked up, not swallowed.


Rating: 4.5


This medicine also belongs to the nootropics: it helps adapt to mental stress and improves metabolism in the central nervous system. But besides this, phenibut reduces anxiety, tension, restlessness, normalizes sleep.

Reduces the severity of stress-induced headaches, eliminates weakness and psycho-emotional instability. An indirect indicator of how effectively phenibut reduces stress levels may be the fact that it is among the medicines included in the first aid kit of astronauts.

Phenibut is prescribed for children not only as a sedative, but also in the complex treatment of stuttering and tics.

The likelihood of side effects is low. The drug can cause drowsiness. Another variant of unwanted phenomena is a paradoxical (reverse) reaction to the remedy, when headache, dizziness, irritability appear after taking it. Allergic reactions possible.

Phenibut is contraindicated in pregnant and lactating women, under 2 years of age.

Available by prescription.


  • Effectively reduces high levels of stress, keeping a person active and efficient.


  • Prescription drug.

Magnes B6

Rating: 4.4

Magnesium B6

Restores levels of magnesium, a mineral that is vital to the functioning of all body cells, and pyridoxine, a vitamin that regulates the nervous system. Natural magnesium is found in wheat bran, pumpkin and sesame seeds, pine nuts and walnuts, spinach – in short, foods that are not often in the diet of children. Therefore, a deficiency of this mineral in the body is uncommon. In addition, its development is promoted by dysbiosis and taking antibiotics, which is also not uncommon in children.

Magnesium and B6 regulate the transmission of nerve impulses, eliminating increased irritability, fatigue, restoring sleep.

Children over 6 years of age are prescribed 4 – 6 tablets per day, which should be taken in 2 – 3 doses.

The drug is contraindicated in marked renal failure. Safety of use during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been established.

When taking Magnes B6 it should be remembered that magnesium absorption is blocked by calcium, so it can not be taken at the same time with dairy products or multivitamins containing calcium.


  • Removes magnesium and vitamin B6 deficiency,


  • Cannot be combined with multivitamins and foods containing calcium.

The best synthetic sedatives

In this section of the rating we have included means of different pharmacological groups, in one way or another regulating the nervous system. Unlike herbal preparations, these pills show the desired result in the first days of taking.


Rating: 4.3


Reduces anxiety and has a mild stimulant effect. Eliminates such manifestations of nervousness as:

  1. irritability,
  2. Tearfulness,
  3. jitteriness,
  4. insomnia,
  5. heartbeat,
  6. shortness of breath,
  7. memory impairment,
  8. Inability to concentrate.

Appearing as early as a week after the start of use, the effects of afobazole reach their maximum by the end of the month and persist for another 2 weeks after the end of use.

It is recommended to take Aphobazol 10 mg 3 times a day, the duration of the course from 2 weeks to 3 months, as needed. Short courses may be prescribed to women in the second half of the menstrual cycle to reduce the manifestations of premenstrual syndrome.

Allergic reactions possible side effects.

Aphobazole is contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation, under the age of 18 years.


  • Can be used in relatively short courses,
  • Can be used for PMS,
  • over-the-counter.


  • Not recommended to be combined with alcohol.


Rating: 4.2


Regulates the ratio of mediators – special substances which activate or inhibit different functions of the central nervous system, helping to normalize the emotional state. Eliminates unmotivated anxiety, restlessness, fear, reduces irritability, reduces internal emotional tension. Does not eliminate sleep disturbances and does not promote falling asleep on its own, but enhances the effect of sleeping pills.

Improves attention and mental performance.

The recommended dosage is 500 mg three times a day. May be taken as a short course or for 2 to 3 months, as needed. Adaptol combines with any other drugs, including “heavy” tranquilizers, antidepressants, allowing to strengthen their action and reduce the dosage.

Side effects are minimal – allergic reactions possible.

It is not recommended for pregnant women and children, because the safety of the product has not been studied.


  • Combines with any medication,
  • rapid onset of effect.


  • Prescription medication.

The best soothing food supplements

In this section of the rating we have included supplements that help to normalize the processes in the central nervous system. Their sedative effect is somewhat similar to that of herbal drugs – it develops relatively slowly, but persists even after the end of use. This kind of dietary supplements act mildly and rarely cause side effects.


Rating: 4.1


It is an essential amino acid from which the body produces serotonin, necessary for the normal functioning of the nervous system. Tryptophan, often called the mood amino acid, must be ingested with food. It is found most in red and black caviar, hard cheeses, peanuts, almonds, cashews. In short, in foods that are not available to everyone and not every day. Therefore, it is often necessary to take additional tryptophan.

Serotonin, which is produced from tryptophan, is often called the “hormone of joy. This substance creates a stable good mood, a level positive emotional background. By participating in the synthesis of melatonin, serotonin ensures healthy and adequate sleep.

Tryptophan can help with conditions such as:

  1. depression,
  2. increased anxiety,
  3. Increased irritability, aggressiveness,
  4. Chronic fatigue syndrome,
  5. premenstrual syndrome,
  6. sleep disturbance.

Tryptophan has another curious side effect: it reduces the need for sweets and reduces appetite, so it can be separately recommended for people who tend to “eat” stress.

The daily dosage of tryptophan is from 500 mg to 2 grams, depending on your general condition. To restore sleep it should be taken at night, in all other cases – evenly throughout the day. It is necessary to start with minimal dosages, because in excessive doses of tryptophan such side effects as nausea may occur. Dry mouth, sleepiness.

Under no circumstances should it be combined with “drugstore” antidepressants that are prescribed by your doctor – it may lead to an excessive increase in serotonin levels in the blood.

Tryptophan can be purchased both in pharmacies where the product is sold in Russia and in foreign online stores.

Advantages of

  • Gently and naturally regulates mood,
  • Helps to control obesity.


  • Cannot be combined with antidepressants.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid

Rating: 4.0


Trade names: Aminalone, GABA, GABA.

It is one of the most powerful inhibitory neurotransmitters of the central nervous system, or, more simply, a substance that calms the nerve cells. GABA improves blood supply and normalizes metabolic processes in the brain. By the way, modern doctors attribute the calming effect of valerian to the fact that it increases the level of GABA in the brain.

Remedy reduces the level of general anxiety, prevents the appearance of panic attacks. Reduces general level of arousal, improves sleep, speeds up falling asleep. Reduces the symptoms of PMS. Helps to improve attention, memory. Has a mild hypotensive effect.

Initial dosage is 250 mg 3 times a day, with normal tolerance the dosage can be increased to 1.5 g per day.

Possible adverse events – nausea, BP fluctuations, feeling of fever.

Interesting side effect: GABA stimulates growth hormone production. that is why practicing bodybuilders often take it (in doses up to 3 grams per day) to increase muscle mass and decrease the amount of fat tissue.

GABA is contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation, with marked renal failure, under 3 years of age.

You can buy it both in Russian pharmacies (by prescription), and in foreign online stores as an over-the-counter dietary supplement.


  • Overdose is impossible: the body effectively neutralizes the excess substance,
  • improves metabolism in the brain.


  • Use with caution to those who drive.
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