Next-day residual effects of hypnotics in DSM-IV primary insomnia: a driving simulator study with simultaneous electroencephalogram monitoring
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Most studies that investigated the next-day residual effects of hypnotic drugs on daytime driving performances were performed on healthy subjects and after a single drug administration.
In the present study, we further examine whether the results of these studies could be generalised to insomniac patients and after repeated drug administration.
Single and repeated (7 day) doses of zolpidem (10 mg), zopiclone (7.5 mg), lormetazepam (1 mg) or placebo were administered at bedtime in a crossover design to 23 patients (9 men and 14 women aged 38.8±2.0 years) with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) primary insomnia. Driving tests were performed 9–11 h post-dose.
Results showed that treatment effects were evidenced for subjective sleep, for driving abilities, and for electroencephalogram (EEG) recorded before (resting EEG) and during the driving simulation test (driving EEG). Compared to placebo, zopiclone increased the number of collisions and lormetazepam increased deviation from speed limit and deviation from absolute speed, whereas zolpidem did not differentiate from placebo on these analyses. EEG recordings showed that in contrast to zolpidem, lormetazepam and zopiclone induced typical benzodiazepine-like alterations, suggesting that next-day poor driving performance could relate to a prolonged central nervous system effect of these two hypnotics.
The present results corroborate studies on healthy volunteers showing that residual effects of hypnotics increase with their half-lives. The results further suggest that drugs preserving physiological EEG rhythms before and during the driving simulation test 9–11 h post-dose, such as zolpidem, do not influence next-day driving abilities.
KeywordsHypnotics Insomnia Hangover effects Driving simulator
This study was supported by the Sanofi-Aventis Group, manufacturer of zolpidem and zopiclone.
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