, Volume 99, Issue 2, pp 219–221 | Cite as

Effects of repeated ritanserin on middle-aged poor sleepers

  • Kirstine Adam
  • Ian Oswald
Original Investigations


Nine subjects who believed themselves to be poor sleepers, of mean age 58 years, took a placebo for 7 days, then ritanserin 5 mg for 20 days, followed by 3 days on placebo. Sleep was recorded electrophysiologically on 2 nights during baseline, 2 early drug nights, 2 late drug nights and the 2nd and 3rd withdrawal nights. Ratings of sleep quality were collected each morning. Ritanserin, a 5HT2 antagonist, caused a persistent doubling of the amount of EEG show wave sleep, without altering the total duration of sleep. Ritanserin decreased the frequencies of awakening and after about a week it appeared to improve the subjective quality of sleep. Sleep was then impaired during withdrawal, as indicated by decreased duration and poorer subjective quality, being worst on the 3rd withdrawal night.

Key words

Sleep 5HT2 antagonist Ritanserin Slow wave sleep Withdrawal 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirstine Adam
    • 1
  • Ian Oswald
    • 1
  1. 1.University Department of PsychiatryRoyal Edinburgh HospitalEdinburghUK

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