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Review, Feb/23: Gabapentinoids & novel compounds for treatmt of benzo dependence


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The full title of this American review is "Application of gabapentinoids and novel compounds for the treatment of benzodiazepine dependence: the glutamatergic model".






Background: Current approaches for managing benzodiazepine (BZD) withdrawal symptoms are daunting for clinicians and patients, warranting novel treatment and management strategies. This review discusses the pharmacodynamic properties of BZDs, gabapentinoids (GBPs), endozepines, and novel GABAergic compounds associated with potential clinical benefits for BZD-dependent patients. The objective of this study was to review the complex neuromolecular changes occurring within the GABAergic and glutamatergic systems during the BZD tolerance and withdrawal periods while also examining the mechanism by which GBPs and alternative pharmacological therapies may attenuate withdrawal symptoms.


Methods and results: An elaborative literature review was conducted using multiple platforms, including the National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI), AccessMedicine, ScienceDirect, pharmacology textbooks, clinical trial data, case reports, and PubChem. Our literature analysis revealed that many distinctive neuroadaptive mechanisms are involved in the GABAergic and glutamatergic systems during BZD tolerance and withdrawal. Based on this data, we hypothesize that GBPs may attenuate the overactive glutamatergic system during the withdrawal phase by an indirect presynaptic glutamatergic mechanism dependent on the α2δ1 subunit expression.


Conclusions: GBPs may benefit individuals undergoing BZD withdrawal, given that the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor current significantly increases during abrupt BZD withdrawal in animal studies. This may be a conceivable explanation for the effectiveness of GBPs in treating both alcohol withdrawal symptoms and BZD withdrawal symptoms in some recent studies. Finally, natural and synthetic GABAergic compounds with unique pharmacodynamic properties were found to exert potential clinical benefits as BZD substitutes in animal studies, though human studies are lacking.

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