Physostigmine Reversal of Diazepam-lnduced Hypnosis: A Study in Human Volunteers

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Under randomized double-blind conditions, 1.00 to 1.67 mg of intravenous physostigmine (Antilirium) reversed sleep induced by administration of 0.102 to 0.238 mg/kg body weight of intravenous diazepam in eight healthy human volunteers. Awakening occurred 330 to 740 s after initiation of the physostigmine infusion at a rate of 0.5 mg/min every 4 min. Diazepam plasma levels were not significantly different at the start of either the physostigmine or placebo infusion. Physostigmine did not effect plasma binding of diazepam. Six subjects experienced nausea, and one subject developed an arrhythmia. Physostigmine reverses diazepam-induced hypnosis but causes side-effects requiring cautious administration.

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