The association of buspirone and its metabolite 1-pyrimidinylpiperazine in the remission of comorbid anxiety with depressive features and alcohol dependency.

Psychopharmacology bulletin

PubMedID: 1924664

Tollefson GD, Lancaster SP, Montague-Clouse J. The association of buspirone and its metabolite 1-pyrimidinylpiperazine in the remission of comorbid anxiety with depressive features and alcohol dependency. Psychopharmacol Bull. 1991;27(2):163-70.
Recent literature has addressed a frequent comorbidity between alcoholism and anxiety/depression. These disorders have been interdigitated with the brain amines serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine. We investigated 51 dually diagnosed patients (generalized anxiety disorder with depressive features plus alcohol abuse/dependency) under a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial employing the 5-HT1A compound buspirone. Buspirone was superior to placebo as an anxiolytic. It was well tolerated and reduced the number of days patients desired alcohol. At the final study dose, the buspirone metabolite 1-pyrimidinylpiperazine (1-PP) was significantly related to improvement in anxiety, global depressive symptoms, and number of days not using alcohol. Analysis using the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and its retardation cluster revealed significant improvement secondary to anxiolysis. Thus, buspirone (especially via its 1-PP metabolite) may be an effective treatment strategy in the anxious or mixed anxious-depressive patient with comorbid alcoholism when other conventional anxiolytics may be contraindicated.