Key words Benzodiazepine
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Abecarnil is a metabolically stable β-carboline that binds with high affinity and selectivity to central benzodiazepine receptors. The effects on cognitive and psychomotor skills of abecarnil (ZK 112–119), 2.5 mg and 5.0 mg, were compared with lorazepam 2.0 mg and placebo. Twenty-four healthy, young males participated in a double-blind, four-way Latin square design and performed batteries of behavioral tests at predrug and at 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, 120, 180, 240, 360 and 480 min after drug administration. Abecarnil 5.0 mg and lorazepam 2.0 mg displayed similar impairment profiles in tests of cognitive functions including memory encoding. Abecarnil 2.5 mg was substantially less impairing than lorazepam. Impairment levels of the abecarnil and lorazepam treatments peaked at 2–3 h after oral administration. The two abecarnil doses showed dose-dependent effects on the cognitive and psychomotor tasks. All three drug treatments were well tolerated by the subjects, with no one terminating early due to adverse events. The incidence of reported adverse events for abecarnil was dose-dependent. The most frequent, statistically significant adverse effects were drowsiness, lack of concentration and visual disturbance for abecarnil 5.0 mg; and lack of concentration and dizziness for lorazepam 2.0 mg. There were no significant differences in adverse incidence rates between abecarnil 2.5 mg and placebo.
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