Behavioral effects of zopiclone were investigated in mice and rats and compared with the data on diazepam, nitrazepam and flurazepam. The electro encephalographic effect of the drug was also examined in unanesthetized rabbits with chronic electrode implants and compared with that of diazepam. The present results indicate that zopiclone possesses pharmacological properties qualitatively similar to benzodiazepines, which are characterized by potent anticonflict and antiaggressive effects and much weaker anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant, ataxiogenic, sedative and anesthesia potentiating effects; the properties of this drug were com pared with those of diazepam, nitrazepam and flurazepam. Zopiclone suppressed the EEG arousal responses and inhibited afterdischarges induced by electrical stimulation of the hippocampus and amygdala. The effects of zopiclone on EEG and afterdischarges were approximately 1/10 those of diazepam.
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