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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1997 May;131(1):9-18.

Trazodone and triazolam: acute subject-rated and performance-impairing effects in healthy volunteers.

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Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson 39216, USA.


The present study compared the acute subject-rated and performance-impairing effects of trazodone and triazolam in seven healthy humans. Trazodone (50, 100 and 200 mg), triazolam (0.125, 0.25, 0.50 mg) and placebo were administered orally in a double-blind, crossover design. Drug effects were measured approximately 30 min before drug administration and repeatedly afterwards for 6 h. Trazodone and triazolam produced dose-related increases in subject-ratings of drug effect and sedation. The absolute magnitude of trazodone's and triazolam's effects was comparable across these measures, which suggests the doses tested were equivalent on some behavioral dimension. By contrast, triazolam, but not trazodone, increased subject ratings of "dizzy", "excited", "nervous", "restless", "stomach turning" and "itchy skin". Triazolam, but not trazodone, significantly impaired learning, recall and performance. The present findings suggest trazodone may be a viable alternative to benzodiazepine hypnotics like triazolam, especially when needing to minimize drug-induced impairment. Future research could extend the present findings by replicating them in a clinically relevant population such as individuals with histories of drug abuse.

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