The effects of alprazolam and buspirone in light and moderate female social drinkers.Behav Pharmacol. 2002 Sep; 13(5-6):427-39.BP
Individuals who are moderate/heavy drinkers are at increased risk to abuse benzodiazepines and this risk is increased in women compared to men. However, no studies have determined whether female moderate drinkers (MD) show a differential response to the subjective and performance effects of benzodiazepines compared to female light drinkers (LD). Fourteen female MD who consumed an average of 36 drinks/month were compared to 14 female LD who consumed an average of 4.2 drinks/month. None of the participants had either a first- or second-degree family history of alcoholism. The acute effects of placebo, alprazolam (0.25, 0.50, 0.75 mg) and buspirone (5, 10, 15 mg) were evaluated using a double-blind, placebo-controlled outpatient design. Drug effects were assessed using a full range of performance measures and subjective-effects questionnaires. Alprazolam impaired performance in a dose-related manner on all performance tasks for both groups of females, whereas buspirone had minimal effects on performance. There were few differences between LD and MD with respect to subjective response or performance impairment following either alprazolam or buspirone. Although MD reported greater ratings of Good Drug Effect and Drug Liking than LD, this was neither dose-related, nor specific to alprazolam. The results of the present study suggest that female MD without a family history of alcoholism experience the same level of performance impairment as female LD, although they tend to report greater positive subjective effects from alprazolam.