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Effect of nitrazepam and flurazepam on the ventilatory response to carbon dioxide.
  1. D M Geddes,
  2. M Rudolf,
  3. K B Saunders


    Ventilatory response to CO2 was measured before and after two different benzodiazepine hypnotics in both chronic bronchitics and patients without chest disease. Flurazepam, but not nitrazepam, produced a significant decrease in CO2 sensitivity, although there was no significant change in FEV1 or mixed venous PCO2. This is the first unequivocal evidence of central depression of respiration by a benzodiazepine and may be the mechanism by which benzodiazepines cause deterioration in patients with respiratory failure.

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