Comparison of anticonvulsant tolerance, crosstolerance, and benzodiazepine receptor binding following chronic treatment with diazepam or midazolam

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1994 Jul;48(3):765-72. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(94)90344-1.


In a previous study, rats treated chronically with flurazepam were tolerant to the anticonvulsant action of some benzodiazepines (BZs), but not others (34). To determine if this differential crosstolerance was unique to flurazepam, rats were treated chronically with diazepam or midazolam, and tested for tolerance to the anticonvulsant actions of diazepam, midazolam, clonazepam, and clobazam. Regional benzodiazepine receptor binding in brain was also studied. In contrast to previous findings with flurazepam, 1 week treatment with diazepam or with midazolam did not cause tolerance. Rats treated with diazepam for 3 weeks were tolerant to diazepam, clonazepam, clobazam, and midazolam. In contrast, rats treated 3 weeks with midazolam were tolerant to diazepam and midazolam, but not clobazam or clonazepam. Neither diazepam nor midazolam treatment for 3 weeks altered BZ binding in cerebral cortex, cerebellum, or hippocampus. The effects of chronic BZ treatment depended not only on the BZ given chronically, but also on the BZ used to evaluate these effects, suggesting drug-specific interactions of different BZs with their receptors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / pharmacology
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacokinetics
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology*
  • Binding, Competitive / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Diazepam / pharmacology*
  • Drug Tolerance
  • Male
  • Midazolam / pharmacology*
  • Pentylenetetrazole / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Radioligand Assay
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, GABA-A / drug effects
  • Receptors, GABA-A / metabolism*
  • Seizures / chemically induced
  • Seizures / physiopathology


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • Diazepam
  • Midazolam
  • Pentylenetetrazole