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Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2008 Mar;23(2):110-2. doi: 10.1097/YIC.0b013e3282f2b4b2.

Pregabalin in the discontinuation of long-term benzodiazepine use: a case-series.

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  • 1Athens University Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Eginition Hospital, Athens, Greece.


Tolerance, dependence, and adverse effects on cognitive functions are well known consequences of long-term use of benzodiazepines (BDZ), especially at high doses; this raises thorny therapeutic problems in their discontinuation. One promising pharmacological agent in BDZ discontinuation might be the newer antiepileptic, pregabalin (PGB), which has already successfully been tested in the treatment of anxiety disorders. We report on a series of four women with long-term, high-dose dependence on BDZ, who were treated with PGB at doses of 225-600 mg. All four patients discontinued BDZ successfully in 3-7 weeks. Moreover, they had an impressive reduction of their previous anxiety levels under BDZ. In addition, the patients showed a clinically significant amelioration in their cognitive functioning. The side effects of PGB were mild and transient, persisting only during the first 2 weeks of treatment. Although our findings are preliminary, they suggest that PGB might be one of the most promising of the newer agents in the treatment of BDZ dependence.

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