Open-label trial of riluzole in generalized anxiety disorder

Sanjay J. Mathew, Jonathan M. Amiel, Jeremy D. Coplan, Heidi A. Fitterling, Harold A. Sackeim, Jack M. Gorman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Objective: There is a need to identify novel pharmacotherapies for anxiety disorders. The authors examined the safety and efficacy of riluzole, an antiglutamatergic agent, in adult outpatients with generalized anxiety disorder. Method: In an 8-week, open-label, fixed-dose study, 18 medically healthy patients with DSM-IV generalized anxiety disorder received treatment with riluzole (100 mg/day) following a 2-week drug-free period. The primary efficacy measure was the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) score at endpoint. Results: Twelve of the 15 patients who completed the trial responded positively to riluzole. At 8 weeks, eight of the 15 patients had HAM-A score indicating remission of their anxiety. The median time to response was 2.5 weeks. Conclusions: Riluzole appears to be an effective, well-tolerated, and rapidly acting anxiolytic medication for some patients with generalized anxiety disorder. Larger, placebo-controlled studies are indicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2379-2381
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


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