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Efficacy of Vespar drug (buspirone) in alcohol dependence

The five published controlled studies on the effects of buspirone in alcoholism treatment are reviewed. They have been conducted mostly in alcoholics with comorbid anxiety. Significant differences in favor of the medication were observed in several psychopathological measures (anxiety, depression, hostility, interpersonal sensitivity, and global psychopathology). In only two studies were alcohol craving and consumption found influenced. Metaanalysis showed positive effects of buspirone on treatment retention, as well as on anxiety. It can be concluded that the main effect of buspirone in the treatment of alcoholism is not on ethanol consumption per se, but on associated psychopathological symptoms. A favorable safety profile and a lack of interaction with alcohol make buspirone a useful pharmacological adjunct in the treatment of alcoholism.

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