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Effect of Alprazolam in Spasticity: A Pilot Study

Keywords: Spasticity , Alprazolam , FIM , MAS , PSFS

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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 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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