Benzodiazepine effects on human sleep EEG spectra: A comparison of triazolam and flunitrazepam

Xin Tan, Sunao Uchida*, Masato Matsuura, Kyoko Nishihara, Yoshinobu Iguchi, Takuya Kojima

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of 0.5 mg triazolam (TRI) and 4 mg flunitrazepam (FNZ) on the sleep electroencephalogram (EEG) were studied in eleven (six for TRI, and five for FNZ) healthy young male subjects. C3 EEG channel data of one baseline night, three drug nights and two withdrawal nights were recorded and their analyzed using a fast Fourier transformation (FFT) method. Changes in the 0.5 Hz to 40 Hz power spectrum showed that: 1) both TRI and FNZ increased higher frequency activity and reduced lower frequency activity on the drug nights; 2) on drug nights, NREM sigma frequency power was more strongly enhanced by TRI than FNZ, while the beta power of both NREM and REM was more strongly enhanced by FNZ than TRI; 3) NREM alpha power increased on the second night of withdrawal from both TRI and FNZ; 4) the power spectra for both NREM and REM sleep returned to baseline levels by the fourth night of withdrawal from either TRI or FNZ. These findings suggest that 0.5 mg TRI and 4 mg FNZ have both common and differing pharmacological effects on the central nervous system. Such differences could be caused by differences in the dose, half-life or systemic distribution of these two drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-684
Number of pages10
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Jul 17
Externally publishedYes


  • Flunitrazepam
  • Sleep EEG
  • Spectral analysis
  • Triazolam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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