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Re: Is Valium more potent than Xanax?

Posted by bassman on April 2, 2006, at 11:13:09

In reply to Re: Is Valium more potent than Xanax? » bassman, posted by Sobriquet Style on April 2, 2006, at 7:47:17

I hope these will be of help:

Schweizer et al. (58) have conducted an 8-month, placebo-controlled study of continuation therapy for panic disorder with alprazolam and imipramine that found sustained efficacy for both compounds with no dose escalation, suggesting an absence of tolerance to the therapeutic effect

Preliminary evidence for the efficacy of continuation therapy of GAD comes from two studies (43, 47). In both studies the benzodiazepine therapy achieved sustained remission of anxious symptomatology with no tolerance and no dose escalation over a 6-month period.

A total of 136 patients received clonazepam nightly for a mean 3.5 (+/- 2.4) years, with no significant difference in initial versus final mean dose: 0.77 mg (+/- 0.46) versus 1.10 mg (+/- 0.96). Similar results were obtained with chronic alprazolam treatment and with other benzodiazepine treatments. CONCLUSION: Long-term, nightly benzodiazepine treatment of injurious parasomnias and other disorders of disrupted nocturnal sleep resulted in sustained efficacy in most cases, with low risk of dosage tolerance, adverse effects, or abuse.

Fifty-nine panic disorder patients originally randomized to treatment in a controlled trial comparing alprazolam, clonazepam, and placebo were reevaluated in a follow-up study. At a mean follow-up of 1.5 years, 78% of patients remained on medication and the mean dosage of alprazolam and clonazepam did not increase.

A 15 year study:
Maintenance medication was common. No benzodiazepine abuse was reported. CONCLUSION: PD has a favourable outcome in a substantial proportion of patients. However, the illness is chronic and needs treatment. The short-term treatment given in the drug trial had no influence on the long-term outcome.

I think this is interesting because it basically says the physicians are quite prejudiced concerning benzo use, even when it comes to outcome. Who knows the benefits better, the physician or the patient? That’ s easy.

The participants were 93 patients over 60 years of age using a benzodiazepine for insomnia and 25 physicians comprising sleep specialists, family physicians, and family medicine residents. The main outcome measure was perception of benefit and risk scores calculated from the mean of responses (on a Likert scale of 1 to 5) to various items on the survey. RESULTS: The mean perception of benefit score was significantly higher in patients than physicians (3.85 vs. 2.84, p < 0.001, 95% CI 0.69, 1.32). The mean perception of risk score was significantly lower in patients than physicians (2.21 vs. 3.63, p < 0.001, 95% CI 1.07, 1.77). CONCLUSIONS: There is a significant discordance between older patients and their physicians regarding the perceptions of benefits and risks of using benzodiazepines for insomnia on a long term basis. The challenge is to openly discuss these perceptions in the context of the available evidence to make collaborative and informed decisions.


The Task Force Report, although over 10 years old, is still a standard reference for benzodiazepine use. Its points—that there is undue reluctance to use minor tranquillizers, and that many people are undertreated—still hold, and are borne out by the Roy-Byrne study. Other relevant literature includes a review of 2719 adult out-patient charts2 (medical and psychiatric) for evidence of benzodiazepine abuse that found no patients meeting the criteria. Another study, of long-term alprazolam users, found no dose escalation with long-term use.3 Tyrer’s 19884 paper on minor tranquillizers notes an absence of evidence that benzodiazepine dependence leads to dangerous long-term sequellae, and blames "excessive media attention" for distortion of scientific attitudes.

Benzodiazepines are relatively safe drugs that are probably under- rather than overprescribed. Periodic reassessment of chronic users is appropriate, although generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder are chronic conditions for which long-term treatment may be necessary. In the more recent era of safer antidepressants, these agents may be able to supplant minor tranquillizers for the control of chronic anxiety in many patients. Long-term benzodiazepine use is appropriate for some patients.

Tolerance is the need to increase the dose of a drug to maintain the desired effects. Tolerance to the anxiety-relieving effects of benzodiazepines is uncommon and most individuals do not increase their benzodiazepine dose




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