top of page

Zolazepam: Development, Uses, and Effects

Zolazepam is a drug that has been developed and used in veterinary medicine for many years. It is a type of benzodiazepine and is commonly used as a sedative and anesthetic. In this article, we will explore the development of zolazepam, its uses, and its effects on animals.

Development of Zolazepam

Zolazepam was first developed in the 1970s by a team of researchers at a pharmaceutical company. They were looking for a new drug that could be used as an anesthetic for animals. The team discovered that zolazepam had excellent sedative and anesthetic properties, making it a useful drug for veterinary medicine.

Uses of Zolazepam

Zolazepam is used in veterinary medicine to sedate and anesthetize animals. It is commonly used in combination with other drugs to produce a more effective anesthetic effect. One of the most common drug combinations used in veterinary medicine is zolazepam and tiletamine, also known as TZ.

Zolazepam is also used as a sedative to calm animals down. It is often used before surgery to reduce anxiety and stress in animals. It can also be used to calm animals during transport or other stressful situations.

Effects of Zolazepam

The effects of zolazepam on animals depend on the dosage and the administration method. When given in the right dose, zolazepam can produce a calming and sedative effect. It can also induce anesthesia and lead to unconsciousness.

One of the most common side effects of zolazepam is hypertension. This is a condition where the blood pressure in the animal's body increases. Hypertension can be dangerous, especially if it persists for a long time.

Another side effect of zolazepam is hyperthermia. This is a condition where the body temperature of the animal increases beyond the normal range. Hyperthermia can be dangerous, especially if the animal is not monitored closely.

Comparison of Drug Combinations

Several drug combinations used for immobilizing African lions have been compared to determine the most effective and safest combination. Tiletamine-zolazepam-medetomidine (TZM), ketamine-medetomidine (KM), and ketamine-butorphanol-medetomidine (KBM) were used to immobilize the lions.

The quality of induction was rated as excellent for all drug combinations, and induction times did not differ between the groups. Immobilisation depth was similar over the immobilisation period in the TZM and KBM groups, and initially light, progressing to deeper in lions administered KM.

Heart rate, respiratory rate and peripheral arterial haemoglobin saturation with oxygen were within the expected range for healthy, awake lions in all groups. All lions were severely hypertensive and hyperthermic throughout the immobilisation.

Following antagonism of immobilizing drugs, lions immobilized with KM and KBM recovered to walking sooner than those immobilized with TZM. KBM had an advantage of allowing for shorter, less ataxic recoveries.


Zolazepam is a useful drug in veterinary medicine. It is commonly used as a sedative and anesthetic, and it has been found to be effective in combination with other drugs. However, zolazepam has side effects that need to be monitored closely, especially hypertension and hyperthermia.

When compared to other drug combinations used for immobilizing African lions, zolazepam provided smooth inductions and effective immobilizations but resulted in hypertension. KBM had an advantage of allowing for shorter, less ataxic recoveries.

Overall, zolazepam is a valuable drug in veterinary medicine, but its use should be carefully monitored to ensure the safety of the animals being treated.



Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page