Try our beta test site
IMPORTANT: Listing of a study on this site does not reflect endorsement by the National Institutes of Health. Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more...

The Effect of Valproate on Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Severity

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
Helsinki University Identifier:
First received: December 7, 2007
Last updated: October 16, 2008
Last verified: October 2008
The aim of this study is to determine whether valproate is effective in the treatment of benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms in subjects receiving maintenance treatment for opiate dependence.

Condition Intervention
Substance Withdrawal Syndrome
Drug: valproate

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: The Effect of Valproate Treatment on Withdrawal Severity in Benzodiazepine Dependent Opioid Maintenance Treatment Patients

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Helsinki University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • benzodiazepine withdrawal severity [ Time Frame: 3 weeks ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • benzodiazepine use [ Time Frame: 4 weeks after treatment ]
  • attrition from treatment [ Time Frame: 3 weeks ]

Enrollment: 30
Study Start Date: February 2005
Study Completion Date: May 2008
Primary Completion Date: May 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: B
Gradual benzodiazepine discontinuation and valproate treatment
Drug: valproate
Valproate 20 mg/kg per day for 2 weeks, reduction during week 3. Conversion of benzodiazepines to an equivalent dose of diazepam (maximum 80 mg per day). Dosage reduced 10 mg daily until 40 mg per day. Reduction then continued 5 mg daily.
Other Name: Deprakine depot
No Intervention: A
Gradual benzodiazepine discontinuation

Detailed Description:

In Finland, 90% of subjects with opioid dependence are dependent on benzodiazepines too. Concurrent use of opioids and benzodiazepines has increasingly caused deaths.

Benzodiazepine withdrawal treatment usually comprises gradual drug discontinuation. In one study, valproate was shown to improve benzodiazepine discontinuation success in chronic benzodiazepine users. In the present study, the effectiveness of gradual benzodiazepine discontinuation combined with valproate treatment and carried out in an inpatient setting is compared with gradual discontinuation without pharmacological augmentation.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosis of benzodiazepine dependence (DSM IV-R)
  • Induction of buprenorphine or methadon maintenance treatment, or need of benzodiazepine withdrawal treatment during ongoing buprenorphine/methadon maintenance

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Pregnancy
  • History of convulsions
  • Unstable somatic diseases
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00570219

Helsinki University Central Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Psychiatric Unit for Drug Dependence
Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland, 09
Sponsors and Collaborators
Helsinki University
Principal Investigator: Helena Vorma, MD, Ph.D Deputy chief physician, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Department of Psychiatry
Study Director: Katila Heikki, Md, Ph.D Chief medical officer, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Department of Psychiatry
  More Information

Responsible Party: Helena Vorma (principal investigator), Helsinki University Central Hospital, Department of Psychiatry Identifier: NCT00570219     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: PS05BENVAL
Study First Received: December 7, 2007
Last Updated: October 16, 2008

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Substance Withdrawal Syndrome
Substance-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders
Valproic Acid
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
GABA Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Antimanic Agents
Tranquilizing Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Psychotropic Drugs processed this record on April 28, 2017