The prevalence, rate, and degree of memory impairment for next-day activities during a short, intermittent course of bedtime doses of triazolam, temazepam, and placebo were assessed in a double-blind parallel-group study. 5 of the 6 subjects in the triazolam group reported at least one episode of next-day memory impairment/amnesia, with a total of 12 episodes being reported for the 30 subject-drug nights (a rate of 40%). In the temazepam group there were no such episodes of memory impairment. Immediate and delayed recall were also tested and related to whether active drug or placebo had been taken the night before. Impairment of delayed recall was significantly and several times greater than that in the temazepam or placebo groups. Next-day memory impairment/amnesia after a bedtime dose of triazolam tended to increase with continued or intermittent drug use. Cognitive impairments associated with triazolam probably represent a spectrum of organic brain dysfunction, with memory impairment/amnesia and confusion being the commonest, and milder manifestations and hallucinations and delusions the more severe and less common, features.
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