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IOANNINA, Greece, Aug 29, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Greek scientists say tranquilizers work better than placebos in treating symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, but may not work better than other drugs.
The class of depressant drugs known as benzodiazepines are especially effective at treating seizure in withdrawal patients, say Dr. Christos Ntais of the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece and colleagues. People given benzodiazepines were 84 percent less likely to have withdrawal-related seizures compared to those given placebos.
"This might suggest that their (benzodiazepines') current status as first-line treatment for alcohol withdrawal syndrome is justified," Ntais said. However, the researchers found no evidence benzodiazepines are any better than other drugs in treating alcohol withdrawal syndrome or there are any differences between types of benzodiazepines for withdrawal treatment.
"There was no conclusive evidence or even hints for superiority of specific drugs, but modest differences could have been missed due to limited data," Ntais said.
Among the commonly known benzodiazepines are Halcion, Versed, Librium, Xanax and Valium.
The review of recent studies appears in the current issue of The Cochrane Library.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International.