[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
January 1, 1973

Over-the-Counter Daytime Sedatives: A Controlled Study

Author Affiliations

From the Private Practice Research Group, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and Philadelphia General Hospital.

JAMA. 1973;223(1):29-33. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220010017003

A two-week double-blind clinical trial, conducted with 166 general-practice patients displaying mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety and tension, compared the relative safety and efficacy of Compoz, the largest-selling over-the-counter daytime sedative; aspirin, used by many for tension relief; chlordiazepoxide; and placebo. More side effects were reported with Compoz and chlordiazepoxide than with either aspirin or placebo. Neither Compoz nor aspirin could be differentiated from placebo, while chlordiazepoxide produced significantly more symptomatic relief than Compoz, aspirin, or placebo. Further studies of daytime sedatives are considered necessary to protect the public from medications of questionable safety and efficacy.