A sedative is any agent that calms nervousness, irritability, and excitement. The degree of relaxation produced depends on the type and amount of sedative medication used as well as the mental state of the patient. For example, it is sometimes necessary to give an increased dose or repeated doses of sedative to a patient that is already very nervous/ excited/ aggressive as compared to a calm and already relaxed patient. Sedation is commonly used to help patients be more compliant for taking radiographs( x-rays) or sometimes just to allow the doctor to perform an exam in a pet that is showing signs of aggression. A sedative is also used as a “pre-med”, which is given prior to anesthesia to lessen the amount of anesthetic needed for the procedure.