Silexan does not affect driving performance after single and multiple dose applications: Results from a double-blind, placebo and reference-controlled study in healthy volunteers

J Psychiatr Res. 2021 Apr;136:543-551. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2020.10.028. Epub 2020 Nov 5.


Anxiolytic drugs often have sedative effects that impair the ability to drive. Our double-blind, randomized crossover trial investigated the effect of Silexan, a non-sedating, anxiolytic herbal medicinal product, on driving performance in healthy volunteers. Part 1 aimed at demonstrating equivalence between 80 mg/d Silexan and placebo. Part 2 was performed to demonstrate superiority of 160 and 320 mg Silexan over 1 mg lorazepam and included a placebo arm for assay sensitivity. Driving performance was assessed in a validated, alcohol-calibrated simulator test. The primary outcome was the standard deviation of the lane position (SDLP). Secondary outcomes included driving errors and sleepiness. Fifty and 25 subjects were randomized in Parts 1 and 2, respectively. In Part 1, Silexan 80 mg was confirmed to be equivalent to placebo after single administration (equivalence range: δ = ±2 cm). The 95% confidence interval (CI) for the SDLP marginal mean value difference Silexan-placebo for single administration was -1.43; +1.38 and thus similar to the 95% CI of -1.45; +0.79 cm for 7 days' multiple dosing. In Part 2, 95% CIs for SDLP marginal mean value differences to lorazepam were -8.58; -5.42 cm for Silexan 160 mg and -8.65; -5.45 cm for 320 mg (p < 0.001). Confirmatory results were supported by secondary outcomes, where results for Silexan were comparable to placebo and more favorable than for lorazepam. The study demonstrates that single doses of up to 320 mg Silexan and multiple doses of 80 mg/d have no adverse effect on driving performance.

Keywords: Anxiolytic drug driving performance; Clinical trial; Sedation; Silexan.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Automobile Driving*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Oils, Volatile*
  • Plant Oils
  • Psychomotor Performance


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • lavender oil