Study Shows Drugs Have Comparable Residual Effects
The newer, short-acting, nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic drugs,such as zolpidem, have been touted because of their apparentlyreduced daytime residual effects, compared with other insomniadrugs. Finnish scientists determined zolpidem and the benzodiazepinesleep agent temazepam, however, to be equal intheir next-day residual effects on certain psychomotor activities.
A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, publishedin Sleep Medicine (November 2003), compared the earlymorningdriving ability of women who had taken zolpidem ortemazepam at 2 AM. Five and a half hours after dosing, therewere no significant differences in almost all measures of thepatients' driving ability, when compared with placebo.
Interestingly, the patients who were administered zolpidemhad more difficulty maintaining proper lane position, comparedwith the temazepam and placebo groups. The study also highlightedthe varied patient susceptibility to the effects of thedrugs—an important consideration when evaluating individualtreatment options for insomnia.