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Clorazepate and lorazepam: clinical improvement and rebound anxiety.

Author(s): Rickels K, Fox IL, Greenblatt DJ, Sandler KR, Schless A

Affiliation(s): Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Publication date & source: 1988-03, Am J Psychiatry., 145(3):312-7.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Controlled Clinical Trial

Sixty-two anxious patients were treated under double-blind conditions for 4 weeks with either clorazepate or lorazepam. Two-thirds of each treatment group were then switched abruptly to placebo for 2 weeks, while one-third continued to receive active medication. Two major findings were obtained. About 70% of the patients maintained improvement during the 2-week placebo period. Some patients, however, experienced rebound anxiety, which appeared to be more intense and occurred earlier when placebo was substituted for a benzodiazepine with a short half-life (lorazepam) than for one with a long half-life (clorazepate). The clinical relevance of these findings is discussed.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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