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Depress the reticular activating system (a polysynaptic network of neurons & regulatory centers) located in the brainstem that controls vital functions, including consciousness. In clinical doses – they affect the function of nerve synapses rather than axons
They suppress the transmission of excitatory neurotransmitters (ACh) & enhance transmission of inhibitory neurotransmitters (GABA) by interfering with transmitter release (presynaptic) and selectively interacting with receptors (postsynaptic)