Rohypnol is hypnotics that are commonly used to treat insomnia, anxiety and seizure disorders. It has been abused by both sexes and club men often drop the tablets into women's drinks to create a potential rape situation. Thirty-six animals (Wistar rats) were used for this study. They were grouped into three (N=12); Group 1 (Control) received 0.04 ml/kg body weight (bwt) of distilled water, Group 2 (Normal dose) received 0.04 mg/kg bwt of rohypnol and Group 3 (overdose) received 0.08 mg/kg bwt of rohypnol. The exposure was done once every week for three weeks, and three animals per group were sacrificed every 24 h post-administration. Blood samples were collected at every time of the sacrifice for hormonal assessment and the ovaries and uterus were removed and preserved for histological analysis. The last batch of animals was sacrificed 3 weeks after the third exposure. The results obtained from the hormonal analysis showed statistically significant (p<0.05) reduction in estrogen production for all groups 2 and 3 animals at a repeated normal dose (2nd and 3rd exposures) when compared with the control. The group of animals that received the overdose and repeated overdose of rohypnol showed high statistically significant decrease in all the analyzed reproductive hormones (Estrogen, Progesterone, Luteinizing and Follicle-stimulating hormones); while the hormonal pattern of the last batch of animals across all groups, showed a perfect correlation with the control. Histology of the ovary and the uterus, however, showed no pathological changes in all the groups. This work has concluded that repeated uses and the overdose of the drug can disrupt the normal hormonal profile of the female reproductive system which may be corrected naturally on stoppage of exposure.
Key words: Rohypnol, hormones, sedatives, overdose, histology.
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