The effects of diazepam on self-informed arousal and sustained attention.

Research paper by J J Sierra, G G Buela-Casal

Indexed on: 01 Jan '96Published on: 01 Jan '96Published in: European Psychiatry


The use of benzodiazepines seems to be associated with a deficit in the levels of arousal and attention during vigil. A number of studies have found residual effects a few hours after the intake of these drugs. This paper assesses the effects of a single dose of 10 mg diazepam on self-informed arousal (as evaluated with the Stanford Sleepiness Scale) and sustained attention (as evaluated with the Toulouse Piéron test) the morning after oral intake (11 hours later). Potential differences in the residual effects of benzodiazepines on men and women were also examined. A sample of 42 healthy young university students (21 female, 21 male) was exposed to three counterbalanced experimental conditions (control, placebo, diazepam). Diazepam only caused a reduction in arousal in women, and this deficit was similar to that caused by the intake of a placebo.