I was looking over some PubMed research on etizolam, and came across some very surprising studies. Etizolam might be a safer anxiolytic than classical benzos, while still retaining high effectiveness and rapid action.
1. Patients with generalized anxiety disorder were either treated with Etizolam (0.5 mg), Alprazolam (0.5 mg), or Bromazepam (3 mg) twice a day. While all three drugs retained their effectiveness over 2 weeks, etizolam actually started to become more effective than the other benzos from to 2 weeks to 4 weeks (reverse tolerance in a way). The researchers also note antidepressant activity in etizolam not seen in the other two drugs tested.
Etizolam in the Treatment of GAD (PubMed Abstract
2. No cognitive deficits over 3 weeks compared to placebo were noticed with etizolam 0.5 mg BID, a curious finding for a BZD agonist
Effects of 0.5 mg BID Etizolam on cognitive performance (PubMed Abstract)
3. When multiple doses of etizolam or lorazepam were administered to rat neurons, lorazepam caused downregulation of alpha-1 BZD sites (aka tolerance/dependence), while etizolam caused an increase in alpha-2 BZD sites (aka reverse tolerance to anti-anxiety effect).
Also, the researchers noted a marked tolerance over time to the anticonvulsant effects of lorazepam, but no significant tolerance to anticonvulsant effects of etizolam.
Quote from abstract: "These data suggest that etizolam is endowed with a reduced liability to induce tolerance and dependence compared with classical benzodiazepines."
Etizolam: Less Tolerance/Dependence than Classical Benzos (PubMed Abstract)