Buspirone treatment of anxious alcoholics. A placebo-controlled trial

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1994 Sep;51(9):720-31. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1994.03950090052008.

Abstract

Background: Symptoms of anxiety are common in alcoholics and may contribute to relapse following initiation of abstinence. Buspirone hydrochloride, a serotonin1A partial agonist, has a pharmacologic profile that may be particularly suited to the treatment of anxious alcoholics.

Methods: We conducted a randomized, 12-week, placebo-controlled trial of buspirone in 61 anxious alcoholics, all of whom also received weekly relapse prevention psychotherapy. Outcomes were measured at the end of treatment and at a 6-month follow-up evaluation.

Results: Buspirone therapy was associated with greater retention in the 12-week treatment trial, reduced anxiety, a slower return to heavy alcohol consumption, and fewer drinking days during the follow-up period.

Conclusions: Buspirone appears to have a useful role in the treatment of anxious alcoholics. Further research is needed to clarify which patient characteristics and concomitant treatments result in optimal response to buspirone therapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Alcoholism / prevention & control
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Buspirone / therapeutic use*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Compliance
  • Recurrence
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Buspirone