Effects of alprazolam and imipramine on parasympathetic cardiac control in patients with generalized anxiety disorder

Daniel R. McLeod, Rudolf Hoehn-Saric, Stephen W. Porges, Wesley D. Zimmerli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A noninvasive measure was used to assess the effects of alprazolam, imipramine and placebo on parasympathetic (vagal) cardiac control following 6-weeks of medication in patients with generalized anxiety disorder. Flexible dosage at therapeutic levels resulted in increased heart rate and blood pressure and in decreased cardiac vagal control in patients receiving imipramine but not alprazolam or placebo. About 50% of the variance in heart rate changes and changes in mean arterial blood pressure following treatment with imipramine could be accounted for by changes in cardiac vagal control. Decreased cardiac vagal control can now be added to the list of cardiovascular changes seen following several weeks of treatment with imipramine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-540
Number of pages6
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume107
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1992

Keywords

  • Alprazolam
  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiac vagal control
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Heart rate
  • Human subjects
  • Imipramine
  • Respiratory sinus arrhythmia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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