Treatment, discontinuation, and psychomotor effects of diazepam in women with generalized anxiety disorder

Tahere Pourmotabbed, Daniel R. Mcleod, Rudolf Hoehn-Saric, Pamela Hipsley, David J. Greenblatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Twenty-one women with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) participated in a 6-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to assess the treatment and abrupt withdrawal effects of diazepam on psychic and somatic symptoms of anxiety. The results confirmed those of previous studies reporting that (1) clinical doses of diazepam are effective in attenuating the symptoms of generalized anxiety to a greater extent than placebo during the first 3 weeks of treatment; (2) somatic symptoms are more responsive to diazepam treatment than psychic symptoms; and (3) patients taking diazepam exhibit increased anxiety upon abrupt withdrawal of medication. This finding, combined with the fact that diazepam discontinuation did not produce withdrawal effects in nonanxious volunteers, suggests that diazepam discontinuation after 6 weeks results in rebound anxiety rather than a physical withdrawal syndrome. Diazepam did not improve psychomotor performance in GAD patients. Psychomotor impairment after 6 weeks of diazepam was similar to that seen in noanxious volunteers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-207
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of clinical psychopharmacology
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 22 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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