Alprazolam in panic disorder: A retrospective analysis
1. The charts of 78 panic disorder outpatients treated with alprazolam (mean dose 4.30 mg/day, mean duration 31.9 months) were reviewed for demographics, past history (including substance abuse and major depression), and evidence of alprazolam abuse. In addition, the patients were evaluated by Clinical Global Index for improvement at last contact.2. Moderate to significant recovery was found in 77% of patients. Major depression was seen in 41%. Depressed patients were more likely to have coexisting agoraphobia and a past history of alcohol abuse than non-depressives.3. There was no DSM-III-R anxiolytic abuse, but 12% showed unauthorized use of the alprazolam. These subjects were three times more likely to have a history of drug abusethan non-misusers.4. These results indicate that alprazolam is effective in the long-term treatment of panic disorder, but that prolonged management may be required. Further, the data raise concerns about use in panic patients with substance abuse histories.
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