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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differing effects of the anxiolytic agents buspirone and diazepam on control of breathing.

We compared ventilatory effects of the nonsedating anxiolytic buspirone with those of the sedating anxiolytic diazepam in nine normal men. Resting ventilatory parameters and ventilatory responses to CO2 rebreathing and inspiratory threshold loading were measured before and after placebo, diazepam, and buspirone. Placebo had no ventilatory effects. Diazepam had no effect on resting ventilation but depressed response to CO2. Buspirone had no effect on resting ventilation or CO2 response. During loading, buspirone did not alter the augmentation of mouth pressure; diazepam produced a trend toward less augmentation. Both anxiolytics altered the load compensation response for the group; in particular, an increase in ventilation during loading (seen in three of nine subjects) was suppressed by drug administration. Diazepam also markedly depressed one subject's loaded ventilation below unloaded ventilation. In summary, buspirone did not cause the depression of respiratory center chemosensitivity that was seen with diazepam and produced less depression of load compensation in normal subjects. This suggests that it may be a safer anxiolytic in patients with lung disease.[1]


  1. Differing effects of the anxiolytic agents buspirone and diazepam on control of breathing. Rapoport, D.M., Greenberg, H.E., Goldring, R.M. Clin. Pharmacol. Ther. (1991) [Pubmed]
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