Although the widely used benzodiazepines for control of anxiety have met with high patient acceptance, there is a hesitation about long-term use owing to the possibility of dependence. The new azaspirodecanedione compounds such as buspirone (Buspar) are free from dependence but raise the spectre of tardive dyskinesia since they are derivatives of the butyro-phenones. Furthermore, the azaspirodecanediones have a limitation in that the onset of the anti-anxiety benefit might take a week or two. Therefore, ondansetron, a novel compound with antianxiety properties, was studied in outpatients who met the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual III (DSM-III) criteria for generalized anxiety disorder with or without panic attacks. This report is on the methodological difficulties encountered in such a clinical investigation.
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