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Pharmacology. 1983;27 Suppl 2:228-34.

Evaluation of zopiclone physical dependence liability in normal volunteers.

Abstract

The potential of zopiclone, a non-benzodiazepine sedative hypnotic, to induce physical dependence in normal human volunteers was investigated. 9 male subjects (age range 21-39 years) participated in a 56-day double-blind study with random assignment to initial treatment A or B: (A) zopiclone 7.5 mg p.o. nightly for 21 days followed by placebo for 7 days, and (B) placebo nightly for 21 days followed by placebo for 7 days. Heart rate, blood pressure, hand tremor and auditory-evoked EEG were repeatedly measured during the withdrawal periods. No differences in any of these variables between phases were found (beta = 0.90 for mean differences of 16% between phases). Subjects slept longer (mean 28 min, p less than 0.013) on zopiclone than on placebo. Symptoms of state anxiety were greater on days 2 and 4 after discontinuing zopiclone compared to all other withdrawal days (p less than 0.0021). The mean relative increase on days 2 and 4 was 30%. Sleep depth (self-rating scale) was no deeper on drug than on placebo, but during the withdrawal phases, sleep was less deep on days 2 and 4 of withdrawal from zopiclone compared to all other withdrawal days (p less than 0.0001). Subjects were unable to identify the pattern of drug administration on withdrawal, and none reported important symptoms. Discontinuation of zopiclone (7.5 mg for 21 days) is associated with detectable increase in state anxiety and lighter sleep on days 2 and 4 of withdrawal. Quantitatively, similar changes occur with other hypnotic drugs of relatively low dependence liability.

PMID:
6669632
DOI:
10.1159/000137931
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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