Possible interactions between zolpidem, a new sleep inducer and chlorpromazine, a phenothiazine neuroleptic
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The combined use of a hypnotic and a neuroleptic is a rather frequent situation, encountered especially in the psychiatric sphere. We therefore tested zolpidem and chlorpromazine in six healthy subjects by using a double-blind latin square design. All of them received single doses of 20 mg zolpidem (ZOL), 50 mg chlorpromazine (CPZ) and the combination of ZOL+CPZ. The medication was given as a single dose in the morning and each treatment being separated by a 1-week interval. Zolpidem produced moderate to severe sedation varying according to the subjects. Psychometric performances (manual dexterity, Stroop test), alertness and psychomotricity (visual analogue scales) were reduced up to 3 h after drug intake. Chlorpromazine alone did not have much effect. Combined administration of ZOL and CPZ was rather more effective than ZOL alone. The pharmacokinetics of ZOL or CPZ remained unchanged except for the elimination half-life of CPZ, which increased significantly when administered along with ZOL. No other pharmacodynamic or pharmacokinetic interaction between ZOL and CPZ was evident. The fact that the ZOL and CPZ combination accentuated the pharmacodynamical effects can be explained to result from the summation of each of their own pharmacological effect.
Key wordsInteraction Chlorpromazine Zolpidem Neuroleptic Hypnotic
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