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Alprazolam and lorazepam single and multiple-dose effects on psychomotor skills and sleep

Summary

The effects of alprazolam 0.5 mg and lorazepam 2 mg on cognitive and psychomotor skills were assessed in twelve normal volunteer subjects in a randomised, double-blind, crossover design. Single and multiple dose effects were monitored using a battery of tests comprising critical flicker fusion threshold (CFFT), choice reaction time (CRT), simulated car tracking, and subjective ratings of perceived sedation (LARS) and of sleep behaviour (LSEQ). Compared with placebo baseline scores, treatment with lorazepam 2 mg (both single and multiple doses) resulted in a widespread impairment of CRT, tracking accuracy, and CFFT. Single doses of alprazolam 0.5 mg reduced CFFT with respect to the placebo baseline. Single and multiple dose treatment with both drugs resulted in subjective reports of sedation, a reduction of sleep onset latency, and improved sleep quality. Only lorazepam 2 mg significantly disrupted the integrity of behaviour on waking from sleep. These results suggest important pharmacodynamic differences between the two drugs in the doses used.

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Subhan, Z., Harrison, C. & Hindmarch, I. Alprazolam and lorazepam single and multiple-dose effects on psychomotor skills and sleep. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 29, 709–712 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00615963

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00615963

Key words

  • alprazolam
  • lorazepam
  • psychomotor skills
  • sleep behaviour
  • pharmacodynamic
  • differences