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J Clin Psychiatry. 2005 Nov;66(11):1401-8.

The selective GABA reuptake inhibitor tiagabine for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder: results of a placebo-controlled study.

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Anxiety Disorders Program, Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders, Massachusetts General Hospital, Simches Research Building, 185 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.



To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of tiagabine, a selective gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) reuptake inhibitor, in adults with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).


This 8-week, randomized, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled study enrolled patients with GAD (DSM-IV). Tiagabine was initiated at 4 mg/day and then flexibly dosed twice a day to a maximum dose of 16 mg/day. Study drug was tapered after week 8 in decrements of 2 mg every other day. Efficacy assessments included the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAM-A) and Sheehan Disability Scale. Adverse events, sexual functioning, and change in depressive symptoms were monitored. Data were collected from May 2003 to January 2004.


A total of 266 patients (tiagabine, N = 134; placebo, N = 132) were included in safety analyses; 260 patients (tiagabine N = 130; placebo N = 130) were included in efficacy analyses. Tiagabine reduced symptoms of GAD according to the observed case and mixed models repeated-measures (MMRM) analyses but not the primary last-observation-carried-forward (LOCF) analysis. At final visit, the reduction from baseline in mean HAM-A total score was 11.8 for tiagabine, compared with 10.2 for placebo (LOCF analysis, p = .27). In a post hoc MMRM analysis, a significant difference in the mean reduction in HAM-A total score over the efficacy evaluation period was found, favoring tiagabine over placebo (p < .01). Tiagabine had an early onset of effect, as shown by significant reduction from baseline in mean HAM-A total score compared with placebo at week 1 (observed cases, p < .05). Tiagabine was generally well tolerated and not associated with changes in sexual functioning or depressive status. Symptoms of a discontinuation syndrome during taper were not observed.


The primary LOCF analysis was negative; however, results from the observed case and MMRM analyses suggest that tiagabine may be a useful treatment option for adult patients diagnosed with GAD. These findings warrant further evaluation in randomized clinical studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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