Effects of buspirone and diazepam, alone and in combination with alcohol, on skilled performance and evoked potentials

J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1986 Aug;6(4):199-209.


Effects of buspirone, 10 and 20 mg, and diazepam, 10 mg, on skilled performance and evoked responses, as well as their interactions with 0.8 g/kg of alcohol were investigated in 24 healthy men. Alcohol, 0.8 g/kg, caused the greatest performance impairment, followed closely by diazepam. Both doses of buspirone had lesser effects. Buspirone had primarily sedative effects which were short lasting, whereas diazepam impaired tracking and body balance in addition to being sedative. Both anxiolytics showed only slight additive interactions with the present dose of alcohol. A strong drug effect and a lesser but significant alcohol and a drug/alcohol interaction effect were seen on evoked potentials. Diazepam effects on evoked potentials were similar to alcohol, whereas buspirone in some instances appeared to reverse the alcohol effect. Pharmacokinetics of buspirone and diazepam were not significantly affected by concomitant administration of alcohol. The psychomotor side effect profile of a single anxiolytic dose of buspirone is preferable to a single 10-mg dose of diazepam.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breath Tests
  • Buspirone
  • Diazepam / metabolism
  • Diazepam / pharmacology*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Ethanol / metabolism
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Evoked Potentials / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects*
  • Pyrimidines / metabolism
  • Pyrimidines / pharmacology*
  • Random Allocation
  • Reaction Time / drug effects


  • Pyrimidines
  • Ethanol
  • Diazepam
  • Buspirone