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The Experimental Pharmacotherapy of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

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In many people, long-term benzodiazepine (BZ) use produces dependence with manifestation of withdrawal symptoms after abrupt cessation of BZ treatment. The current therapy of BZ dependence in humans utilizes gradual dose-taper to avoid withdrawal symptoms and supportive psychotherapy to help patients cope with withdrawal reactions. The failure of dose-taper in many patients has triggered intensive animal research to find additional pharmacological treatments. The present article reviews evidence from animal studies on effectiveness of pharmacological treatment for BZ dependence and withdrawal. It explores the risk-benefit profiles of putative therapies for BZ withdrawal, including drugs acting via benzodiazepine receptors, serotonergic and noradrenergic agents, cholecystokinin-B receptor antagonists, calcium channel blockers, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonists, and other miscellaneous agents.
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Keywords: Baclofen; Benzodiazepine; Benzodiazepine Withdrawal; Cholecystokinin-B (CCK-B)

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • Current Pharmaceutical Design publishes timely in-depth reviews covering all aspects of current research in rational drug design. Each issue is devoted to a single major therapeutic area. A Guest Editor who is an acknowledged authority in a therapeutic field has solicits for each issue comprehensive and timely reviews from leading researchers in the pharmaceutical industry and academia.

    Each thematic issue of Current Pharmaceutical Design covers all subject areas of major importance to modern drug design, including: medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, drug targets and disease mechanism.
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