COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

A double-blind comparison of the efficacy and safety of lorazepam and diazepam in the treatment of the acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome

W C Miller, L McCurdy
Clinical Therapeutics 1984, 6 (3): 364-71
6722863
The safety and efficacy of lorazepam and diazepam were compared in the treatment of the acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome during a five-day double-blind trial in alcoholic patients. The daily doses of lorazepam and diazepam were tapered from 6 or 8 mg to 2 mg and from 30 or 40 mg to 10 mg, respectively, during the first four days; no medication was given on day 5. Drug efficacy was measured by Total Severity Assessment Scores (TSAS), the three TSAS factor scores, and by the physician's global evaluation. Of the 55 inpatients enrolled, 47 completed the study. There were no statistically significant differences between the treatment groups in any of the efficacy assessment measures. The physical conditions of the majority of the patients treated with lorazepam (57%) and diazepam (59%) improved during therapy. There were no clinically significant differences between the treatment groups in vital signs or laboratory values. The results of this study indicate that lorazepam is as effective as diazepam in reducing the symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal. When lorazepam and diazepam are compared in terms of their pharmacokinetics, lorazepam may have therapeutic advantages for the management of the acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

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