Evaluation of Buspirone as an Antianxiety Agent: Buspirone and Diazepam versus Placebo*
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Buspirone has previously been demonstrated to be efficacious in the treatment of anxiety. This four-week double-blind parallel study compared buspirone to diazepam and placebo in the treatment of 119 outpatients diagnosed as having generalized anxiety disorder. After a seven-day placebo washout period, eligible patients were randomized to one of three treatment groups. Buspirone (5 mg) and diazepam (5 mg) were administered BID and individually titrated to an optimal therapeutic dose by the end of week two. Buspirone and diazepam were equally effective in reducing Hamilton Anxiety (HAM-A) total and psychic factor scores from baseline values. Buspirone alone was significantly better than placebo in reducing the HAM-A somatic factor score. Sixty-seven percent of both active treatment groups who were classified as "ill" on the baseline global psychopathology rating scale achieved a "not ill" status by study end. There were no significant differences between treatment groups at endpoint on the 56-item Symptom Checklist self-rating scale. Buspirone was demonstrated to be as effective as diazepam in relieving anxiety in this outpatient sample.
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