Pharmacokinetic properties of benzodiazepine hypnotics

David J. Greenblatt, Darrell R. Abernethy, Marcia Divoll, Jerold S. Harmatz, Richard I. Shader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The kinetic properties of three benzodiazepine hypnotics are reviewed. Flurazepam serves as a precursor for at least two rapidly appearing and rapidly cleared metabolites that may contribute to sleep induction and are nonaccumulating. The final metabolite of flurazepam (N-desalkylflurazepam), however, has a long half-life and accumulates during repeated dosage. Temazepam has a relatively slow rate of absorption and an intermediate half-life in the range of 10 to 20 hours. Triazolam has an intermediate rate of absorption; due to its ultrashort half-life (1.5 to 5 hours), triazolam is a nonaccumulating hypnotic. Taken together with sleep laboratory studies and clinical trials, knowledge of the kinetic profile of benzodiazepine hypnotics can assist in evaluating their clinical benefits and disadvantages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-132
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of clinical psychopharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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