Severe withdrawal symptoms after discontinuation of alprazolam in eight patients with combat-induced posttraumatic stress disorder.
Eight patients with combat-induced chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) receiving long-term alprazolam therapy for anxiety or depression (maximum dose of 2-9 mg/day for 1-5 years) had alprazolam therapy withdrawn. Most of the patients underwent gradual medication withdrawal. All patients had a prior history of alcohol abuse or benzodiazepine dependence. During withdrawal, all patients had severe reactions including anxiety, sleep disturbance, rage reactions, hyperalertness, increased nightmares, and intrusive thoughts; and 6 of the 8 patients had homicidal ideation. As a result of this report, the authors suggest that the potential for severe withdrawal reactions, even with gradual tapering, should be considered before prescribing alprazolam therapy for this group of patients.
Risse, SC; Whitters, A; Burke, J; Chen, S; Scurfield, RM; Raskind, MA
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)