Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Differential Effects of Alprazolam and Clonazepam on the Immune System

Benzodiazepines belongs to one of the most commonly used anxiolytic and anticonvulsant drugs in the world. Full description of toxic effects on different organs is lacking for nearly all the current benzodiazepines. The aim of the current work was to study the immunologic and vascular changes induced by sub-chronic administration of alprazolam and clonazepam in non-stressed and stressed adult male albino rats. Forty-two adult male albino rats were divided into 6 groups (I): (Ia) Negative control rats, (Ib): Positive control rats received distilled water, (II): Stressed rats, (III): Non-stressed rats received daily oral dose of clonazepam (0.5 mg/kg), (IV): Stressed rats received daily oral dose of clonazepam (0.5 mg/kg), (V): Non-stressed rats received daily oral dose of alprazolam (0.3 mg/kg). (VI): Stressed rats received daily oral dose of alprazolam (0.3 mg/kg). At the end of the 4th week, total leukocyte count (WBCs) and differential count were determined, anti-sheep RBC antibody (Anti-SRBC) titer and interleukin-2 (IL-2) level were assessed, thymus glands, lymph nodes, spleens and abdominal aortae were submitted to histopathological examination. Alprazolam was found to induce a significant increase in neutrophil count and a significant decrease in lymphocytes, anti-SRBC titer and IL-2 level with severe depletion of the splenic, thymal and nodal lymphocytes, accompanied by congestion and eosinophilic vasculitis of all organs tested in comparison to clonazepam treated rats. Stress enhanced the toxic effects. It was concluded that the immune system and blood vessels can be adversely affected to a greater extent by short-term chronic administration of alprazolam than by clonazepam, and these toxic effects are aggravated by stress.


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