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Effects of alprazolam on cholecystokinin-tetrapeptide-induced panic and hypothalamic-pituitary-adren

Effects of alprazolam on cholecystokinin-tetrapeptide-induced panic and hypothalamic-pituitary-adren

  1. Jatelka
    Neuropsychopharmacology. 2003 May;28(5):979-84.

    Zwanzger P (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...bmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlusDrugs1), Eser D (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...bmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlusDrugs1), Aicher S (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...bmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlusDrugs1), Schüle C (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...bmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlusDrugs1), Baghai TC (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...bmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlusDrugs1), Padberg F (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...bmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlusDrugs1), Ella R (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...bmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlusDrugs1), Möller HJ (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...bmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlusDrugs1), Rupprecht R (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...bmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlusDrugs1).

    Cholecystokinin-tetrapeptide (CCK-4) induces panic attacks both in patients with panic disorder (PD) and healthy volunteers. It has been shown that panic elicited by CCK-4 is improved after treatment with antidepressants. Moreover, a reduction of CCK-4-induced panic has also been demonstrated after treatment with lorazepam in single subjects and after selective GABAergic treatment with vigabatrin. Although benzodiazepines are widely used as anxiolytics, no controlled study on the effects of benzodiazepines on CCK-4-induced panic symptoms is available so far. Therefore, we investigated the effects of alprazolam and placebo on CCK-4-induced panic symptoms in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. A total of 30 healthy subjects were challenged with 50 microg CCK-4. Out of these 30 subjects, 26 showed a marked panic response to CCK-4. Subjects were rechallenged after a 7-day interval and treated with 1 mg alprazolam or placebo 1 h prior to the second CCK-4 challenge. Panic was assessed using the acute panic inventory (API) and a DSM-IV-derived panic symptom scale (PSS). Moreover, the number of reported symptoms and self-rated anxiety and arousal were recorded. We found a significant reduction of the API and PSS scores and of the number of reported symptoms compared to placebo. Moreover, compared to placebo the CCK-4-induced ACTH and cortisol release were significantly attenuated during the CCK-4 challenge after alprazolam treatment. However, also placebo treatment reduced CCK-4-induced anxiety and HPA-axis activation to a certain extent. In conclusion, our data show that alprazolam reduces CCK-4-induced panic, which supports the hypothesis of a possible interaction between the GABA and the CCK system.

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