Object: In this paper an overview is presented of the enduring efforts of physicians to control aggressive and disinhibited behaviors irrespective of the nosological context. Compounds that are thought to have a specific antiaggressive effect are called serenics. Method: First, a selective review of the historical concepts is outlined together with the treatment modalities. Second, the pharmacological approaches are described that have been developed since the introduction of psychotropics. Results: From ancients times on several herbal sedatives and containment strategies have been used to control manifestations of aggression. In the second half of the past century, all psychotropics have been advanced as a potential treatment. The results, however, are only aspecific. During the past decade, animal experiments have shown that systemic administration of specific serotonin receptor antagonists may exert behavioral specific effects. Conclusions: So far no specific pharmacological treatment is available for aggressive behaviors. Modern research suggests that aggressive behavior should be studied as a separate functional disorder across diagnostic boundaries.

Aggression, History, Psychotropics Serenics
Clinical Neuropsychiatry: journal of treatments evaluation
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Verhoeven, W.M.A, & Tuinier, S. (2007). Serenics: Anti-aggression drugs throughout history. Clinical Neuropsychiatry: journal of treatments evaluation, 135–143. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/14916