ACTIONS AND INTERACTIONS OF DIAZEPAM AND ALCOHOL ON PSYCHOMOTOR SKILLS IN YOUNG AND MIDDLE-AGED SUBJECTS

Healthy pretrained men participated in three separate controlled double-blind and cross-over trials. There were 10 students in trial I, 11 army officials or policemen aged 38-59 years in trial II, and 11 students in trial III. After single oral dose of diazepam 10 mg (D), placebo, alcohol 0,5 g/kg (a) or (D) + a, given at one-week intervals in balanced order, the psychomotor skills (choice reaction, tracking, attention, flicker fusion) were repetitively measured up to 2,5 hrs. Serum D concentrations were measured by gas chromotography. D alone impaired flicker fusion in trials I and II, and also reactive and coordinative skills in trial III. A alone slightly impaired skills and failed to potentiate D effects. Increasing age rendered the performance worse but this was due to increased base-line errors than to enhanced responses to D. Serum D concentrations tended to rise in the presence of A suggesting an inhibition of D demethylation by alcohol. Both total and free concentrations of D were similar in both age groups. The results suggest that in spite of unaltered sensitivity to D, middle-aged subjects have a lowered margin of safety when driving or using machinery under D treatment. (Author/TRRL)

  • Corporate Authors:

    Munksgaard

    Noerre Soegade 35
    DK-1370 Copenhagen K,   Denmark 
  • Authors:
    • Palva, E S
    • LINNOILA, M
    • Routledge, P
    • SEPPALA, T
  • Publication Date: 1982

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00385990
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 30 1984 12:00AM