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March 1984

Differences in Diazepam and Oxazepam-Reply

Author Affiliations
Department of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School Massachusetts Mental Health Center 74 Fenwood Rd Boston, MA 02115Division of Clinical Pharmacology Tufts University School of Medicine and the New England Medical Center Hospital
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(3):311. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790140101018

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In Reply.—  Inspection of the figures in our article shows that both groups of subjects were essentially at steady state at the end of two weeks of chronic drug administration. At this point, sedation for both drugs was approximately equivalent. As noted by DeVane and Stewart, the primary point of our study was to demonstrate the large differences between oxazepam and diazepam, not only in kinetic characteristics, but in clinical effect. We agree that the medical community needs to understand the use of long- v short-acting benzodiazepines, particularly in elderly patients.We would like to take this opportunity to comment also on terminology. Desmethyldiazepam in our article was referred to as nordazepam, yet general usage and our preference is to continue to use the term desmethyldiazepam to describe the primary demethylated active metabolite of diazepam as well as other long-acting benzodiazepines.

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