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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1988;95(4):463-71.

Human studies on the benzodiazepine receptor antagonist beta-carboline ZK 93 426: antagonism of lormetazepam's psychotropic effects.

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  • 1Research Laboratories, Schering AG, Berlin.


The effects of lormetazepam (0.03 mg/kg IV) a benzodiazepine (BZ) derivative in combination with ZK 93 426 (0.04 mg/kg IV) a beta-carboline, benzodiazepine receptor antagonist were evaluated in humans. Independently, the effects of ZK 93 426 on its own were investigated. A psychometric test battery to evaluate sedation (visual analog scales (VAS), anxiolysis (state-trait-anxiety inventory scale (STAIG X1) and cognitive functions [logical reasoning test (LR), letter detection test (LD)] was applied before and several hours after initiation of treatment. Multiple sleep latency test (MSLT), which measures day time sleepiness, was also applied. Vigilosomnograms analysed from standard EEG recordings were evaluated shortly before and for 1 h after treatment. Treatment started with an intravenous injection of either lormetazepam (LMZ) or placebo (PLA), which was followed 30 min later by administration of either ZK 93 426 or placebo; thus four treatment groups were created (PLA + PLA, LMZ + PLA, LMZ + ZK 93 426 and PLA + ZK 93 426). ZK 93 426 antagonized the sedative and hypnotic effect of LMZ as estimated by MSLT and vigilosomnograms, respectively. Impairment of cognitive functions (LR and LD) induced by LMZ was also antagonized by ZK 93 426. ZK 93 426 had no effect on the changes in the time estimation seen in the LMZ group. Furthermore, ZK 93 426 on its own increased vigilance (alertness) as measured by the vigilosomnogram. A competitive antagonism at the benzodiazepine binding site between ZK 93 426 and LMZ is suggested by their combination effects; the intrinsic activity of ZK 93 426 seems to be due to its weak partial inverse agonist component.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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