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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1986 Dec;239(3):775-83.

Pharmacologic characterization of acute chlordiazepoxide dependence in the rat.


A single intoxicating dose of chlordiazepoxide HCl (p.o.) in the rat can induce quantifiable manifestations of physical dependence. Dependence was revealed by antagonist precipitation (Ro 15-1788, CGS-8216) as well as spontaneous emergence of neurobehavioral signs of withdrawal observed by multiple raters blind to treatments. Ro 15-1788 was 45% more effective than CGS-8216 in both reversing chlordiazepoxide intoxication and expressing withdrawal signs. The severity of Ro 15-1788-precipitated withdrawal varied with chlordiazepoxide dose, Ro 15-1788 dose and the agonist-antagonist dose interval. Maximal precipitated dependence was evoked 3 days after chlordiazepoxide HCl (450 mg/kg) by Ro 15-1788 (25 mg/kg i.p.). The precipitated syndrome consisted of tail erection, reduced motor activity, high step, curled claw, arched back, muscle hypertonus and piloerection. Ro 15-1788-precipitated dependence emerged between 28 and 52 hr, peaked at 76 hr and disappeared by 124 hr. Spontaneous withdrawal had emerged from 100 to 124 hr and then faded gradually. The neurobehavioral expression of central nervous system depression and its reversal were necessary but not sufficient conditions for the induction and expression of acute chlordiazepoxide dependence. These results suggest caution in reviving acute benzodiazepine-overdosed patients to avoid iatrogenic withdrawal analogous to naloxone for opiates.

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