A Double-Blind Comparison of the Effects of Gradual Withdrawal of Lorazepam, Diazepam and Bromazepam in Benzodiazepine Dependence

Br J Psychiatry. 1991 Apr;158:511-6. doi: 10.1192/bjp.158.4.511.

Abstract

Using a double-blind procedure, 68 patients with putative benzodiazepine dependence were randomly allocated to one of three groups given lorazepam (n = 22), diazepam (n = 23) or bromazepam (n = 23) in doses equivalent to those of the patients' original benzodiazepine. After four weeks the dosage was reduced in 25% quantities until no further benzodiazepines were taken. A total of 23 patients dropped out during the study, ten on lorazepam (one of whom committed suicide), seven on diazepam and six on bromazepam. There were few differences in withdrawal symptoms between the three groups but, despite the higher dropout rate, these symptoms were somewhat less marked in the lorazepam group. Withdrawal symptoms were greater in patients who had taken a benzodiazepine for greater than 5 years and were most marked in those with personality disorders, predominantly dependent ones.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents* / adverse effects
  • Bromazepam / administration & dosage*
  • Bromazepam / adverse effects
  • Diazepam / administration & dosage*
  • Diazepam / adverse effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lorazepam / administration & dosage*
  • Lorazepam / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Personality Tests
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*

Substances

  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Lorazepam
  • Diazepam
  • Bromazepam