, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 202–211 | Cite as

The effects of diazepam or diphenhydramine on healthy human subjects

  • Antti Jäättelä
  • Pekka Männistö
  • Heikki Paatero
  • Jouko Tuomisto
Original Investigations Human Pharmacology


The immediate effects on the mood and some mental and physical functions of a single oral dose of diazepam (10 mg) and diphenhydramine (50 mg) compared with placebo were studied in healthy human subjects. The material comprised 270 students divided into three similar groups. The mood was tested by the Nowlis adjective check list. The digit symbol test and number series were used to test the mental condition.

The major significant results of the study were: diazepam decreased activity both in men and women and sociability in women. It increased euphoria in men and depressivity and withdrawing in women. It impaired the results in the digit symbol test and the ability to repeat the number series in both men and women. Diphenhydramine also decreased activity in men and women. It caused some euphoria in men. It had a slighter depressing effect than diazepam on the mental functions.

The many different effects in women as compared with men did not seem to be caused only by larger dose per kg given to the former. This was confirmed by an additional study in which a smaller group of men was given the same dose/kg of the drugs as the women in the main study, and vice versa.


Diazepam Diphenhydramine 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ayd, F. J. Jr.: Progress on psychiatry. Med. Sci. 15, 95–96 (1964).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Daneman, E. A.: Double blind study with diazepam, chlordiazepoxide and placebo in the treatment of psychoneurotic anxiety. J. med. Ass. Ga. 53, 55–58 (1964).Google Scholar
  3. Douglas, W. W.: Histamine and antihistamines. In: The pharmacological basis of therapeutics, vol.3, pp. 634–635. L. S. Goodman and A. Gilman, New York: MacMillan Co. 1965.Google Scholar
  4. Jones, W. L.: The anxiety state. Update. J. postgrad. Gen. Pract. I, 7, 505–507 (1969).Google Scholar
  5. Kelley, J.: Management of psychiatric disorders with diazepam. Clin. Med. 69, 1789–1802 (1962).Google Scholar
  6. Laurence, D. R.: Clinical Pharmacology, vol. 3, p. 480. London: J. & A. Churchill Ltd. 1966.Google Scholar
  7. Lunde, A. O., Ropstad, O.: Misbruk av lette ataractica. Nord. Med. 83, 655–658 (1970).Google Scholar
  8. The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics. Valium vol. 6, pp. 17–18. New York: Drug and Therapeutic Information 1964.Google Scholar
  9. The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics. Doxepin (Sinequan) and other drugs for anxiety and depression, vol. 12, pp. 21–23. New York: Drug and Therapeutic Information 1970.Google Scholar
  10. Nowlis, V., Nowlis, H. H.: The description and analysis of mood. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 65, 345–355 (1956).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. O'Connor, C. A., Brodbin, P.: A double-blind trial of the new hypnotic, “Mandrax”. Brit. J. clin. Pract. 21, 387–388 (1967).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Randall, L. O., Heise, G. A., Schallek, W., Bagdon, R. E., Banziger, R., Boris, A., Moe, R. A., Abrams, W. B.: Pharmacological and clinical studies on Valium a new psychotherapeutic agent of the benzodiazepine class. Curr. ther. Res. 3, 405–425 (1961).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Rickels, K., Perloff, M., Stepansky, W., Dion, H. S., Case, W. G., Sapra, R. K.: Doxepin and diazepam in general practice and hospital clinic neurotic patients: a collaborative controlled study. Psychopharmacologia (Berl.) 15, 265–279 (1969).Google Scholar
  14. Sice, J.: General Pharmacology, pp. 188–189. Philadelphia-London: W. B. Saunders Comp. 1962.Google Scholar
  15. Tri-Service Report: Evaluation of drugs for protection against motion sickness aboard transport ships. Report of study by Army, Navy, Air Force motion sickness team. J. Amer. med. Ass. 160, 755–760 (1956).Google Scholar
  16. Wechsler, D.: The measurement and appraisal of adult intelligence, pp. 81–82. Baltimore: The Williams & Wilkins Comp. 1958.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antti Jäättelä
    • 1
  • Pekka Männistö
    • 1
  • Heikki Paatero
    • 1
  • Jouko Tuomisto
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of HelsinkiFinland

Personalised recommendations