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Biol Psychiatry. 1995 Sep 1;38(5):319-24.

Effects of the benzodiazepine antagonist flumazenil in PTSD.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Evidence from preclinical and clinical studies suggests a role for alterations in the benzodiazepine/GABAA receptor complex in stress and anxiety. Flumazenil is a relatively pure benzodiazepine/GABAA antagonist with limited intrinsic activity. In panic disorder patients, but not healthy controls, flumazenil has been demonstrated to provoke panic attacks.

METHOD:

Vietnam combat veterans with PTSD (n = 14) received 90-second intravenous infusions of flumazenil 2 mg or placebo in a double-blind, crossover study design. PTSD symptomology was assessed using the PTSD Symptom Scale, and anxiety symptoms were measured with visual analogue rating scales.

RESULTS:

There was no significant difference in PTSD and anxiety symptoms between administration of flumazenil and placebo.

CONCLUSION:

Flumazenil administration does not produce an increase in anxiety and PTSD symptoms in patients with PTSD. This suggests that PTSD and panic disorder are dissimilar in terms of benzodiazepine/GABAA system function.

PMID:
7495926
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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