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Drugs Five Years Later: Flurazepam Hydrochloride, a Benzodiazepine Hypnotic

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to David J. Greenblatt, M.D., Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114.

Boston, Massachusetts

Ann Intern Med. 1975;83(2):237-241. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-83-2-237
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Flurazepam hydrochloride is a benzodiazepine derivative marketed for use as a hypnotic agent. Flurazepam is more effective than placebo and is as effective as other hypnotic drugs in most short-term controlled studies. In long-term dosage studies, flurazepam's efficacy persists while other hypnotics become ineffective. Flurazepam has relatively minor effects upon rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and does not lead to REM rebound; this may reduce the likelihood of drug dependence. Flurazepam does not cause enzyme induction and probably presents little hazard of abuse or overdosage. The rational use of hypnotic agents depends as much upon the underlying cause of the sleep disorder as upon the choice of a particular drug. When hypnotic therapy is indicated, flurazepam appears to have advantages over other drugs currently available in the United States.





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