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Effect of Alprazolam in Spasticity: A Pilot Study

Author(s): Prakash O | Singh U | Yadav SL | Kishore K | Handa G | Dwivedi SN

Journal: Indian Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
ISSN 0973-2209

Volume: 20;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 6;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Spasticity | Alprazolam | FIM | MAS | PSFS

Background: Alprazolam, given in 0.5 mg dose for someother reason (like anxiety), showed reduction in spasticityand spasm lasting for a few hours. On searching theliterature we did not come across any study to authenticatethis effect of alprazolam. Hence, this study was planned.Methodology: This was a prospective pilot study. 38cases suffering from spasticity of any origin wereincluded. 0.5 mg (for 15 days) followed by 1mg (foranother 15 days) of Alprazolam once daily ½ hour beforebed time was given to every patient and repeatevaluations were done at day 15 (0.5mg) and 1 month(1mg). Spasticity were assessed by MAS, PSFS, Peaktorque at 30º, 60º, and 90º/sec, time taken for ADLdrinking, dressing, hand activity), and FIM motor score.Results: 34 completed the 1 month period of study.Significant improvement was observed in MAS score,PSFS at each time, peak torque at 30º /sec velocity (onlywith 1mg), peak torque at 60º and 90º /sec, FIM score,drinking activity (only with 1mg), dressing activity andhand activity.Conclusion: Alprazolam is a safe and effective drugfor the treatment of spasticity as well as spasms, that is,both the phasic and tonic part of stretch reflexes respondsto alprazolam when used up to 1 mg for 1 month.Performance of ADL improved favorably with 0.5 and 1mg alprazolam. Further studies are required in this arearegarding the long term safety and efficacy and effectivedose for spasticity.
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