Research PapersThe effect of zolpidem on operant behavior and its relation to pharmacokinetics after intravenous and subcutaneous administration: concentration–effect relationsLau, C.E.; Sun, L.; Wang, Q.; Falk, J.L.Author Information Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ, USA Correspondence to Chyan E. Lau Ph.D., Phita International Corp., 480 Meadow Lane, Carlstadt, NJ 07072, USA. E-mail: [email protected] Received 19 February 2001 accepted as revised 28 January 2002 Behavioural Pharmacology: March 2002 - Volume 13 - Issue 2 - p 93-103 Buy Abstract We characterized the effects of i.v. and s.c. zolpidem (1–8 mg/kg) under a differential reinforcement of low-rate schedule (i.e. DRL 45 s) in 3-hour sessions. Both behavioral and pharmacokinetic–pharmacodynamic analyses were used with the intent to compare the effects of zolpidem with those of benzodiazepines reported previously under the same behavioral paradigm. Zolpidem increased the shorter-response [inter-response times (IRTs)<45 s] rate and decreased the reinforcement rate in a dose- and time-related fashion. The behavioral profiles of zolpidem were mainly similar to those of benzodiazepines, except zolpidem produced far fewer shorter IRT responses. Pharmacokinetically, zolpidem decays biexponentially with distributional and terminal elimination half-lives of 5.2 and 42 min, respectively. The absorption rate constant and absolute bioavailability for s.c. zolpidem were 0.083/min and of 84.1%, respectively. The pharmacodynamic parameters for the reinforcement rate, an index of timing performance, were determined by integration of behavioral and pharmacokinetic profiles in a between-subject design using the effect-linked inhibitory sigmoidal Emax model. The pharmacokinetic–pharmacodynamic analysis revealed that the potency of zolpidem (concentration required to produce 50% maximal effects, IC50) in disrupting the timing performance was 0.129 μg/ml. The pharmacodynamic estimates of zolpidem were compared to our previous results for benzodiazepines. © 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.