[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
September 29, 1969

Clinical Effects of HypnoticsI. A Controlled Trial

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Lemuel Shattuck Hospital, and the Department of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston.

JAMA. 1969;209(13):2013-2015. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160260017004

A controlled trial comparing three hynotic drugs— chloral betaine, 750 mg; diphenhydramine hydrochloride, 50 mg; pentobarbital, 100 mg—and a placebo was introduced into a comprehensive drug surveillance program. The standard methods of data collection employed in the program were applied to the trial. These methods employ judgments made by the attending physicians on the efficacy and side effects of drugs. The greater efficacy of hypnotics was evident in the data. There was also some evidence of a higher frequency of side effects among patients who received hypnotic drugs. The efficacy of the placebo was greater among women than among men while the hypnotic drugs were equally effective among both sexes. It is concluded that physicians' judgments of efficacy and side effects are valid to the extent of permitting the demonstration of differences between hypnotic drugs and the placebo, under the conditions of a randomized, double-blind trial.