• Hydroxyzine;
  • lorazepam;
  • attention;
  • memory;
  • sedation


A single intake of hydroxyzine 50 mg was compared to placebo, with lorazepam 2 mg as a verum, in a double-blind, triple-crossover trial. Each of the nine volunteers was tested on three different days, once under each condition. At 2-h after drug intake all volunteers were assessed or reassessed for attention, immediate and delayed (30 min) memory, cognitive ability and subjective feelings of anxiety and fatigue. While hydroxyzine 50 mg and lorazepam 2 mg produced a comparable level of sedation, only hydroxyzine preserved memory and attention. The testing methods were sufficiently sensitive to demonstrate clear deficiencies in attention and short-term and long-term memory with lorazepam. Subjects became some what stressed under both sedative treatments because they feared losing their cognitive abilities. Subjects had fewer complaints under hydroxyzine than under lorazepam.