A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of buspirone for the treatment of anxiety in opioid-dependent individuals.
ABSTRACT Anxiety symptoms are common among opioid-dependent individuals. Buspirone, a nonbenzodiazepine anxiolytic, has been used successfully for the treatment of anxiety in alcoholic patients. Its efficacy in opioid-dependent patients has not been previously examined. We conducted a twelve-week, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of buspirone in 36 subjects receiving methadone-maintenance treatment who presented with anxiety symptoms. Measures of anxiety, depression, and substance use were obtained repeatedly during treatment. Buspirone treatment did not significantly reduce anxiety symptoms in opioid-dependent patients. However, buspirone treatment was associated with trends toward reduction in depression scale scores and a slower return to substance use.