Chapter 17. Clinical Testing of Anxiolytic Drugs

  1. Eric J.L. Griez2,
  2. Carlo Faravelli3,
  3. David Nutt4 and
  4. Joseph Zohar5
  1. M. Bourin

Published Online: 6 DEC 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0470846437.ch17

Anxiety Disorders: An Introduction to Clinical Management and Research

Anxiety Disorders: An Introduction to Clinical Management and Research

How to Cite

Bourin, M. (2001) Clinical Testing of Anxiolytic Drugs, in Anxiety Disorders: An Introduction to Clinical Management and Research (eds E. J.L. Griez, C. Faravelli, D. Nutt and J. Zohar), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/0470846437.ch17

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands

  2. 3

    Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Florence University Medical School, Italy

  3. 4

    Psychopharmacology Unit, School of Medical Sciences, University of Bristol, UK

  4. 5

    Department of Psychiatry and Anxiety Clinic, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, University of Tel Aviv, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Israel

Author Information

  1. University of Nantes, Nantes, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 6 DEC 2001
  2. Published Print: 29 MAY 2001

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471978732

Online ISBN: 9780470846438



  • anxiety disorders;
  • anxiolytics;
  • DSM-IV;
  • benzodiazepines;
  • dependence;
  • withdrawal;
  • clinical trials


This chapter defines the methodological problems associated with testing anxiolytic drugs in humans. The original indication of anxiety in all its forms is no longer acceptable because anxiety disorders have been dissected into a number of distinct entities. The lack of pathognomonic symptoms and the heterogeneity of the symptoms associated with a frequent comorbidity with the diseases of axis-1 of DSM-IV lead to major diagnostic problems which can compromise the clinical studies for new drugs. The cumulation of these difficulties in defining recruitable patients leads to major problems in the development of new drugs for the treatment of anxiety. The clinical methodology proposed in this chapter takes into account the different clinical and pharmacological constraints.