Effects of hypnotic drugs on memory

Edward O. Bixler, Martin B. Scharf, Constantin R. Soldatos, David J. Mitsky, Anthony Kales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


An original design and new task procedures were used to evaluate the effects of morning recall of flunitrazepam 2 mg and secobarbital 100 mg taken at bedtime the previous night. Both flunitrazepam and secobarbital produced anterograde amnesia on the morning following the first drug night; with flunitrazepam, this effect was still evident on the third drug night, but did not appear to be related to plasma drug concentrations. These results suggest that when patients ingest certain benzodiazepine hypnotics before or at bedtime, there may be a decrement in memory retrieval of information acquired before sleep onset or during nocturnal awakenings. Further studies are needed to determine whether the anterograde amnesia produced by benzodiazepine drugs is an aspect of state-dependent learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1379-1388
Number of pages10
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number16
StatePublished - Oct 15 1979

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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