Efficacy of alprazolam sublingual tablets in the treatment of the acute phase of panic disorders.
Author(s): Marquez M, Arenoso H, Caruso N
Affiliation(s): ADINEU (Care. Teaching and Research in Neurosciences) C.A.Buenos Aires, Argentina. email@example.com
Publication date & source: 2011-03, Actas Esp Psiquiatr., 39(2):88-94. Epub 2011 Mar 1.
Publication type: Comparative Study; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
BACKGROUND: Panic disorder affects 2-5% of the general population. In Argentina, one million people would be affected with a 91% rate of psychiatric comorbidity. AIM; To compare efficacy parameters between sublingual (ALP-SL) and conventional (ALP-CT) tablets of alprazolam in the treatment of acute phase of panic disorder with and without agoraphobia. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A comparative, multicenter (6 sites), double blind, randomized study was carried out. A total of 190 outpatients with (n=117) and without (n=73) agoraphobia were treated with ALP-SL or ALP-CT for 12 weeks. Outcome was assessed with the Clinical Global Impressions (CGI-S/CGI-I), Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAM-A), Arizona Sexual Experiences Scale (ASEX), Patient Global Impression (PGI), Psychological General Well-Being Index (PGWBI), Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS) also by the number of panic attacks and extension and intensity of panic attacks and anticipatory anxiety. RESULTS. Both treatments resulted in statistically significant clinical improvement in all measures. ASEX presented no changes during the study. The average dose of alprazolam for 12 weeks was 1.36 +/- 0.70 mg/day (1.39 +/- 0.77 ALP-CT and 1.33 +/- 0.64 ALP-SL). With ALP-SL, panic attacks were shorter (p < 0.05) with shorter extension (p=0.16) and intensity of anticipatory anxiety (p=0.14). The treatment was well tolerated, there being no differences between both groups. CONCLUSIONS: Alprazolam has been demonstrated to have efficacy, safety and good tolerability in the treatment of the acute phase of panic disorder, the sublingual tablets showing some comparative advantages.