Physiological and ethological effects of alprazolam, using ants as biological models

Author : Marie-Claire Cammaerts, Zoheir Rachidi, Roger Cammaerts

Alprazolam is the most consumed anxiolytic drug. Its adverse effects have roughly been examined. Here we studied its effects on ants used as biological models. Alprazolam reduced the antsí food consumption, general activity, locomotion, precision of reaction, response to pheromones, audacity, brood caring, cognition, tactile perception, and middle term memory, though not impacting short term memory. It induced aggressiveness against nesmates. Habituation to alprazolam occurred for locomotion, but not for aggressiveness. Ants developed dependence on it. The effect of alprazolam on locomotion rapidly vanished after weaning. Its effect on aggressiveness rapidly decreased from 4h to 13h after weaning, then it slowly vanished in 60h. The rapid decrease of the drug effects may lead to dependence.

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