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Clin Ther. 1988;10(6):740-6.

The safety and usefulness of buspirone as an anxiolytic drug in elderly versus young patients.

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  • 1Pharmaceutical Research Development Division, Bristol-Myers Company, Wallingford, Connecticut.


Buspirone, the prototype of the new azaspirodecanedione series of antianxiety drugs, was studied in over 6,000 patients in an open, multicenter trial to confirm its safety and usefulness for anxiety in a typical medical practice setting. Non-psychotic patients with clinically manifest anxiety that required anxiolytic drug therapy were enrolled to receive four weeks of treatment with a fixed dose of buspirone (15 mg/day). Patient data were analyzed according to age: the elderly group comprised 605 patients aged 65 years or older, and the younger group included 5,969 patients less than 65 years old. Both the elderly and younger patients achieved similar relief of anxiety within four weeks based on the Hamilton Anxiety Scale and global assessments of improvement. Most patients (80%) in both groups reported no side effects. Further, the side effect profile in the elderly differed little from that in the younger patients. Overall, the data indicate that buspirone may be administered to patients aged 65 years or older without any special adjustment in dose, does not cause unusual adverse age-related phenomena, and relieves moderate-to-severe symptoms of anxiety in elderly patients.

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