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Automatism (toxicology)

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Automatism (toxicology)

Automatism, in barbiturates which were once commonly used as hypnotic (sleep inducing) drugs. Among the current hypnotics, benzodiazepines, especially midazolam might show marked automatism, possibly through their intrinsic anterograde amnesia effect. Barbiturates are known to induce hyperalgesia, i.e. aggravation of pain and for sleeplessness due to pain, if barbiturates are used, more pain and more disorientation would follow leading to drug automation and finally a "pseudo"suicide. Such reports dominated the medical literature of 60s and 70s; a reason replacing the barbiturates with benzodiazepines when they became available.[1][2]


  1. ^ Encyclopedia of Family Health, edition 3, from Marshall Cavendish
  2. ^ Lexicon of Psychiatry, Neurology, and the Neurosciences by Frank J Ayd from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2000

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