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Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014 Sep;66(3):347-51. doi: 10.1007/s12070-014-0739-x. Epub 2014 Jun 17.

The effect of alprazolam on acoustic stapedius reflex thresholds in healthy volunteers.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, Kocaeli University, KBB Anabilim Dali, Umuttepe, 41380 Kocaeli, Turkey.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Kocaeli University, Kocaeli, Turkey.


Alprazolam, a widely used drug, has widespread, nonspecific depressant effects on the central nervous system, similar to other benzodiazepines. This inhibitor effect may cause changes in reflex thresholds by affecting the acoustic stapedial reflex (ASR) arc. This study was performed on 31 healthy volunteers. Initially, the basal ASR thresholds were measured and measured again 2 h after oral intake of 1 mg of alprazolam; by measuring the reflex thresholds once again the mean values of thresholds before and after the drug were compared. Only the left ipsilateral and contralateral 2,000 Hz increases were significantly different. The left ipsilateral and contralateral 500, 1000, and 4000 Hz, and the right ipsilateral and contralateral 500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 Hz measurements showed no differences. Although an increase in ART thresholds was generally observed after the intake of alprazolam, it was not significant. Its use in healthy adults does not statistically produce an additional risk of acoustic trauma at most of the frequencies, but its use with the agents potentiating the effect of alprazolam may increase this risk.


Acoustic stapedius reflex; Acoustic trauma; Alprazolam; Anxiety

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