Effect of alprazolam (0.5 mg) on driving performance of anxiety patients and healthy controls

Alprazolam is a widely prescribed anxiolytic for the treatment of anxiety, panic disorder, and depression. Current literature suggests that alprazolam impairs driving performance. In the present study the major objective was to investigate the effect of alprazolam in treated and untreated anxiety patients compared to a healthy control group after oral alprazolam administration (0.5 mg) (acute phase) in a simulated environment. Primary variables were the vehicle variables (driving performance measures). The secondary objective was to compare multiple cognitive and subjective measures collected for each participant in order to establish the whole range of driving impairment. In this study, the alprazolam effect (0.5 mg) on driving performance was investigated in three experimental groups: a) treated anxiety patients, b) untreated anxiety patients, and c) control group. 51 participants completed two driving tasks; a lane tracking and a car following scenario with a semi-dynamic passenger car simulator. Impaired weaving control was observed in all groups after alprazolam administration. Increase in brake reaction time (sec) was found in treated and untreated anxiety patients when driving in the car following scenario. Healthy participants showed riskier close following behaviour after alprazolam administration compared to treated and untreated anxiety patients. A significant decrease in alertness -measured in computerised attention tests -was found only in healthy participants. Untreated patients and healthy participants reported decreased vigilance. This study clearly showed an alprazolam effect (0.5mg) in driving performance in treated, untreated anxiety patients and healthy participants.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 107-12
  • Monograph Title: 20th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety Conference Proceedings, 25-28 August 2013, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01495646
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 17 2013 10:10AM