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June 1968

Differential Actions of Chlordiazepoxide and Oxazepam on Hostility

Author Affiliations

From the Psychopharmacology Research Laboratory, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(6):757-760. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740060117014

IN TWO PREVIOUS publications DiMascio and Barrett1,2 reported on the effects of minor tranquilizers of the benzodiazepine class (chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride, diazepam, and oxazepam) when administered to a population of student volunteers. Data were presented for subjects divided according to their initial scores on the Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale (TMAS). Those with high levels of anxiety became significantly less anxious when given one of the drugs daily for one week. By contrast, those subjects with low levels of anxiety, who were similarly treated, became more anxious. Data also obtained in these studies, but not published, strongly suggested that while these three benzodiazepines possessed similar antianxiety properties, they acted differentially in altering hostile and aggressive feelings; chlordiazepoxide unexpectedly tending to increase them, oxazepam having no effect on them. Accordingly, the present study was designed to examine specifically whether this differential effect of chlordiazepoxide and

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