Abrupt withdrawal of benzodiazepine treatment in generalized anxiety patients was found to induce a rebound anxiety state in addition to minor physical symptoms. Controlled clinical trials suggest that the newer high potency benzodiazepines (alprazolam, clonazepam and bromazepam) have novel psychiatric indications and greater anxiolytic effect than the classical benzodiazepines. Alprazolam, a triazolobenzodiazepine, was superior to placebo in the treatment of panic disorder, for which medium or low potency benzodiazepines are generally inefficacious. Clonazepam, an anticonvulsant which increases 5HT synthesis, was more efficacious than lithium in reducing manic symptoms. Bromazepam, a new potent benzodiazepine, was superior to diazepam in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder.