Alprazolam misuse: Analysis of French Addictovigilance Network data from 2011 to 2020 - 13/03/23
Alprazolam, a high-potency and short-acting anxiolytic benzodiazepine, is one of the most misused benzodiazepines in France. In the context of various reports on alprazolam misuse during the COVID-19 pandemic, the objective of this study was to assess alprazolam abuse potential by analyzing French addictovigilance and international data.
Data collected from 2011 to 2020 using the following epidemiological tools of the French Addictovigilance Network were analyzed: spontaneous reports (SRs), OPPIDUM (addiction care center data), OSIAP (falsified prescriptions), DRAMES (substance-related deaths), and chemical submission surveys. Moreover, the VigiBase™ database was analyzed to evaluate alprazolam abuse liability worldwide.
During the study period, 675 SRs concerning alprazolam misuse were recorded (sex ratio: ̴1; median age: 39 years). The desired effects were intensification of the therapeutic anxiolytic effect, euphoric effect, and management of substance withdrawal. Alprazolam was the third and first benzodiazepine listed in OPPIDUM and OSIAP surveys. Analysis of the SR and OPPIDUM data showed a recent increase in the alprazolam-opioid combination. In DRAMES data, alprazolam was directly linked to 11 deaths (associated with opioids in 10/11). VigiBase™ data analysis highlighted that France was the third country with the most cases of alprazolam misuse. The disproportionality analysis showed that in France, alprazolam was associated with higher risk of misuse and dependence compared with other benzodiazepines: reporting odds ratio=1.43, (95% CI: 1.04–1.95) and=1.97 (95% CI:1.50–2.59), respectively.
This study highlighted an increase in various signals of alprazolam abuse in France, and an increased use of the alprazolam-opioid combination that was also linked to most of the recorded alprazolam-linked deaths. These signals have been reported also in the international literature, and should be thoroughly investigated.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Alprazolam, Addictovigilance, Misuse, VigiBase™
|☆|| This work entitled: “Assessment of alprazolam abuse: Data from the French addictovigilance network” was presented as a moderated poster (PM2-2) at the SFPT congress in Lille from 14 to 16 June 2022.
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