Methods: Neurocognitive and on‐road driving performance of 19 long‐term (≥6 months) regular (≥twice weekly) BZRA users with estimated plasma concentrations, based on self‐reported use, exceeding the therapeutic threshold (CBZRA+), and 31 long‐term regular BZRA users below (CBZRA−), was compared to that of 76 controls.
Results: BZRA users performed worse on tasks of response speed, processing speed, and sustained attention. Age, but not CBZRA or self‐reported clinical complaints, was a significant covariate. Road‐tracking performance was explained by CBZRA only. The CBZRA + group exhibited increased mean standard deviation of lateral position comparable to that at blood‐alcohol concentrations of 0.5 g/L.
Conclusions: Functional impairments in long‐term BZRA users are not attributable to self‐reported clinical complaints or estimated BZRA concentrations, except for road‐tracking, which was impaired in CBZRA + users. Limitations to address are the lack of assessment of objective clinical complaints, acute task related stress, and actual BZRA plasma concentrations. In conclusion, the results confirm previous findings that demonstrate inferior performance across several psychomotor and neurocognitive domains in long‐term BZRA users.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Human Psychopharmacology-Clinical and Experimental|
|Early online date||6 Feb 2021|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2021|
- benzodiazepine receptor agonists
- long‐term use
- on‐road driving
- psychomotor functioning
- term use
- road driving