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Long-term treatment of anxiety and risk of withdrawal. Prospective comparison of clorazepate and buspirone.

Author(s): Rickels K, Schweizer E, Csanalosi I, Case WG, Chung H

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

Publication date & source: 1988-05, Arch Gen Psychiatry., 45(5):444-50.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

Risk of withdrawal was investigated in a prospective, double-blind comparison of clorazepate dipotassium, a benzodiazepine with a long half-life, and the nonbenzodiazepine buspirone hydrochloride in the long-term treatment of anxious outpatients. Patients were treated with therapeutic doses of clorazepate dipotassium (15 to 60 mg/d) or buspirone hydrochloride (10 to 40 mg/d) for six continuous months before their tranquilizer therapy was blindly and abruptly stopped. There was a significant increase in symptom severity consistent with a withdrawal reaction for the clorazepate group but not the buspirone group. For the clorazepate group, there was a suggestion that previous discontinuous exposure to benzodiazepines might sensitize patients to subsequent withdrawal effects. For the buspirone group, a higher dropout rate raised questions about patient satisfaction with therapy in this rather chronically anxious population.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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