Rationale for the development of the Z–drugs
DOI link for Rationale for the development of the Z–drugs
Rationale for the development of the Z–drugs book
For the past 50 years the benzodiazepines have been extensively used in the treatment of sleep disorders and a large number were developed and licensed for this purpose (see Chapters 10 and 19). The most important effect of this class of hypnotic agent is to shorten the latency of falling asleep, but they also reduce nocturnal awakenings and to some extent early waking in the morning. They are also effective in sleep phase disorders such as jet lag. The benzodiazepines succeeded other sedative drugs such as the barbiturates, meprobamate, and glutethimide, which they better in terms of both efficacy and safety. Indeed the rise of the benzodiazepines as hypnotics was to a very large extent in an attempt to reduce the huge public health problems associated with the abuse of these older drugs and their high toxicity in overdose that often leads to hospital admission and death.