Although anxiety is a major feature of ethanol withdrawal (EW) and much of treatment related to EW is focused on amelioration of the anxiety experienced during EW, less attention has been given to the anxiogenic effects of EW than to the convulsant effects. In this article, we review the animal literature on the anxiogenic effects of EW. Both GABAA and serotonin (5-HT) receptors are important targets in the treatment of anxiety. The roles of each of these two receptors on the anxiogenic effects of EW as well as their potential interrelation are discussed. The contribution of other receptor systems to the modulation of these effects is reviewed. Additionally, males and females show very different levels of anxiety during EW and studies on the role of the HPA axis in mediating these effects are examined. Finally, potential directions for better treatments for EW are discussed.
- Drug discrimination
- Ethanol withdrawal