Benzodiazepine kinetics contribute to their differential abuse: DISCUSSION(1)

Pharmacokinetics

Our data support experimental data in humans and animals suggesting that there is differential abuse of benzodiazepines among drug abusers. It shows that, accounting for availability and mar ket penetra tion, some ben zo diazepines (such as diazepam) are more likely to be abused than others (eg, flurazepam). Although alprazolam had the highest abuse risk in this study, the data for this drug should be cautiously interpreted since both the number of years on the market and the observed abuse of alprazolam were so low during this period. Also, kinetic factors, such as absorption and elimination rate, play a role in determining which benzodiazepine will be preferred by abusers. ventolin inhalers

In carefully conducted studies Griffiths and co-workers have shown that diazepam has a higher abuse potential than oxazepam in animals and in patients with histories of drug abuse. These results were confirmed in an epidemiological study showing that diazepam abuse (expressed as reports of thefts or losses and prescription forgeries) uniformly exceeded oxazepam abuse by a ratio of 2:1 while legitimate use was approximately equivalent. Using a different epidemiological measure to assess drug abuse and a different patient sample, the data in this paper show that the relative abuse of diazepam compared with oxazepam is 1.7:1 after correction for extent of use, thus confirming that the abuse liability of diazepam is approximately two times higher than that of oxazepam (Figure 2).

This entry was posted in Benzodiazepine and tagged Benzodiazepines, Pharm acoepidem iology, Pharmacokinetics, Substance abuse.