Effects of ritanserin on sleep disturbances of dysthymic patients.

Ritanserin, a selective and potent serotonin-2 antagonist, is effective in the treatment of a variety of syndromes related to anxiety and depression, including dysthymic disorder. In animals and healthy volunteers, ritanserin specifically increases slow-wave sleep and the hypothesis arises that this effect on sleep may contribute to its therapeutic properties. Therefore, we studied the effects of ritanserin on sleep in a group of dysthymic patients (DSM-III). Polygraphic recording as well as subjective evaluations of the quality of sleep were performed before and at the end of a 4-week period of double-blind medication with either ritanserin (10 mg o.d. in the morning) or placebo. At baseline, patients showed at fragmented and superficial sleep, with low amounts of slow wave sleep. Ritanserin significantly increased Slow Wave Sleep and changed the frequency and distribution of some stage transitions during the night. No other sleep parameters were modified by ritanserin treatment.
AuthorsT Paiva, F Arriaga, A Wauquier, E Lara, R Largo, J N Leitao
JournalPsychopharmacology (Psychopharmacology (Berl)) Vol. 96 Issue 3 Pg. 395-9 ( 1988) ISSN: 0033-3158 [Print] GERMANY, WEST
PMID3146774 (Publication Type: Clinical Trial, Controlled Clinical Trial, Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Piperidines
  • Serotonin Antagonists
  • Ritanserin
  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder (drug therapy, physiopathology, psychology)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Piperidines (therapeutic use)
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Ritanserin
  • Serotonin Antagonists (therapeutic use)
  • Sleep Stages (drug effects)
  • Sleep Wake Disorders (drug therapy, physiopathology, psychology)
  • Sleep, REM (drug effects)

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