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J Clin Psychiatry. 1993 May;54(5):189-91.

Trazodone in benzodiazepine dependence.

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University of Li├Ęge, Psychiatric Unit, Belgium.



The authors set forth to test the usefulness of trazodone as an alternative anxiolytic in benzodiazepine-dependent patients.


Ten benzodiazepine-dependent patients according to DSM-III-R were hospitalized during a 2-4 week period and treated with trazodone (100 mg t.i.d.) while their benzodiazepine intake was progressively tapered; they left the hospital on a regimen of only a 300-mg daily dose of trazodone and were followed as outpatients at monthly intervals. The dose of trazodone was individually adapted according to condition.


Very limited withdrawal phenomena occurred during the benzodiazepine taper period; during the 1-year follow-up, all patients remained off benzodiazepines and showed no evidence of abuse of trazodone. The dose of trazodone was significantly reduced to 185 mg (p = .003); the ratings of anxiety and depressive symptoms also significantly improved during follow-up: from 12.3 to 5.4 on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (p = .002) and from 11.6 to 4.8 on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (p = .002).


These findings suggest the usefulness of trazodone as an alternative anxiolytic in patients at risk for benzodiazepine abuse.

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