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Effects of acute benzodiazepine administration on growth hormone, prolactin and cortisol release after moderate insulin-induced hypoglycemia in normal women

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Benzodiazepines are known to affect pituitary hormone release, and it has recently been hypothesized that the adenohypophysial hormone response to stress may be modified by previous benzodiazepine treatment. We investigated, therefore, whether a single dose of triazolam, a short-acting benzodiazepine, and flurazepam, a long-acting one, could influence the response of prolactin (PRL), growth hormone (GH) and cortisol to a mild hypoglycemic stress in young healthy volunteers. Neither triazolam nor flurazepam pretreatment resulted in a significant effect on the pituitary response to hypoglycemic stimulus. The GH, PRL and cortisol peaks after both benzodiazepines were similar to those observed after placebo. Our results seem to exclude, therefore, any relevant effect of acute benzodiazepine administration on the neuroendocrine response to mild stress.

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Ambrosi, F., Ricci, S., Quartesan, R. et al. Effects of acute benzodiazepine administration on growth hormone, prolactin and cortisol release after moderate insulin-induced hypoglycemia in normal women. Psychopharmacologia 88, 187–189 (1986).

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