Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Large users of zopiclone assessed as impaired

30.03.2009
A new study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health shows a positive link between the amount of the hypnotic (sleeping medicine) zopiclone in the blood and the chance of being assessed as impaired in a clinical examination. The study also included drivers who only showed alcohol in their blood test.

This could be important background knowledge in the discussion about establishing legal limits in traffic for sedatives or sleep-inducing medicines as we have for alcohol, says Ingebjørg Gustavsen from the Division for Forensic Toxicology and Drug Research.

Common sleeping medicines

Hypnotics that contain zopiclone and zolpidem (e.g. Imovane® and Stilnoct®) are widely used throughout the world and it is reported that between 3 and 7 % of the adult population uses these drugs. Researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health have now studied if there is a link between the concentration of zopiclone or zolpidem in the blood and being assessed as impaired during a clinical examination. The study was done on anonymised material by comparing blood samples and results from clinical tests for the period January 2000 to December 2007. The same study was performed on another group of drivers who only had alcohol in the blood.

Link between substance concentration and impairment

The proportion of drivers who were evaluated as impaired increased with zopiclone-concentration in the blood. A similar positive link was not found for zolpidem. For alcohol, as expected, there was a significant link between the proportion of impaired drivers and alcohol concentration in the blood.

We know that the clinical examination performed on suspicion of driving under the influence is a test that is most sensitive for alcohol impairment, and less sensitive for other substances. Other types of impairment are therefore not necessarily picked up with this study, which can explain why we have not found positive links for zolpidem. Another reason can be that there were few drivers in our sample, particularly in the groups with low concentrations, says Gustavsen.

The proportion of drivers who were evaluated as impaired was relatively similar for the group that had 130 μg/l zopiclone or more in the blood and the group that had a blood alcohol concentration higher than 0.1 %. A concentration of 130 μg/l zopiclone in the blood suggests intake of at least 2 large doses of zopiclone.

Abuse potential

Zopiclone and zolpidem are usually used in moderate amounts before bedtime, and will often be excreted from the body by the next morning. There are few users of these hypnotics that are stopped by police based on suspicion of driving under the influence. In the meantime we know that these substances also have abuse potential, as do other sedative or sleep-inducing medicines. Over 90 % of the drivers included in the study because of zopiclone- / zolpidem-use had higher concentrations of the substances in the blood than one would expect from normal therapeutic use of sleeping tablets before bedtime, concludes Gustavsen.

Reference:
Gustavsen, I., et al., Impairment related to blood drug concentrations of zopiclone and zolpidem compared to alcohol in apprehended drivers. Accid. Anal. Prev. (2009), doi:10.1016/j.aap.2009.01.011

Julie Johansen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fhi.no

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>