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.
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