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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1995 Nov;122(2):115-21.

Bretazenil modulates sleep EEG and nocturnal hormone secretion in normal men.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany.


Preclinical data suggest that the imidazodiazepinone derivative bretazenil (Ro 16-6028) has anxiolytic and anticonvulsant properties with only weak sedative effects. We examined the influence of oral administration of 1 mg bretazenil on the sleep EEG and the concomitant nocturnal secretion of cortisol, growth hormone and prolactin in ten healthy young men. After bretazenil we found a significant increase in stage 2 sleep and a significant reduction in stage 3 sleep. REM latency was prolonged. Spectral analysis of sleep-EEG power revealed a decrease in delta and in theta power and an increase in sigma power. We found no significant influence on sleep onset latency or on intermittent wakefulness. Bretazenil prompted a significant decrease in cortisol secretion and a significant increase in prolactin release. It had no major influence on growth hormone secretion.

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