Differential effects of alprazolam and imipramine in generalized anxiety disorder: Somatic versus psychic symptoms

R. Hoehn-Saric, D. R. McLeod, W. D. Zimmerli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Some researchers have recently suggested that antidepressants may be superior to benzodiazepines in the alleviation of generalized anxiety. In a 6-week, double-blind, paralle-design study with flexible dosage scheduling, the authors compared the effects of alprazolam with those of imipramine in 60 patients who had generalized anxiety disorder. On rating scales that combined both psychic and somatic symptoms, patients in both treatment groups improved to a similar degree after 2 weeks. However, alprazolam was more effective in attenuating somatic symptoms, and imipramine was more effective in attenuating psychic symptoms such as dysphoria and negative anticipatory thinking. The authors' results suggest that, in generalized anxiety, somatic symptoms and hyperarousal selectively respond to drugs acting on the gamma-aminobutyric acid system, whereas psychic symptoms respond to treatments affecting the noradrenergic or serotonergic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-301
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychiatry
Volume49
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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