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Stresam® is a drug manufactured by the French company Biocodex. Its active substance – etifoxine, a benzoxazine derivative – has an original mechanism of action that distinguishes it from all other anxiolytics. It is characterized by maximum selectivity and physiological action in relation to the influence on the development of the symptom complex of anxiety.

Active substance was developed back in the 1960s by the German pharmaceutical company, when benzodiazepines (psychoactive substances with sedative effects), dominated the market of sedatives and drugs for anxiety disorders. However, despite their popularity, tranquilizers of the benzodiazepine structure have significant side effects: psychomotor inhibition, drowsiness, lethargy, dizziness, muscle relaxation, memory impairment, development of addiction, etc. An alternative way to develop drugs to eliminate anxiety was the synthesis and implementation of new generation anxiolytics of non-benzodiazepine nature. Etifoxine was one of several anxiolytics with enough potential to replace benzodiazepine drugs.

It has anxiolytic properties and can relieve various psychosomatic disorders (anxiety, internal tension, sleep disturbances, irritability, inadequate emotional reactions), without a negative effect on psychomotor and cognitive domains. The compound produces neurosteroids in the brain that can indirectly modulate the activity of GABAA response. Enhancing neurosteroids in the brain has a lot of potential in keeping the functional yet calm state of body and mind. Stresam® which is an official trade name of etifoxine demonstrates the following effects:

  • The drug effectively eliminates manifestations of anxiety (stress, discomfort, insomnia, a sense of fear, etc.).
  • Since the active substance of Stresam® does not have a withdrawal syndrome and does not cause dependence, etifoxine is of great interest for narcologists: the drug has shown its effectiveness in reducing manifestation of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, reducing tremor, anxiety and paroxysmal sweating. Stresam® helps to reduce the pathological craving for alcohol, improving the quality of life in the post-withdrawal period.
  • Additional effects of Stresam® are due to the fact that the drug has a mediated effect at the intracellular level: it stimulates mitochondrial benzodiazepine receptors, thereby enhancing the synthesis of neurosteroids. According to preliminary data, these effects stipulate an improvement in concentration and memory functions, which increases the ability to learn.
  • Another property of Stresam® that has been recently discovered is neuroprotection. Stresam® was shown to promote neuron growth; in particular, it accelerates axonal regeneration and might serve as a treatment for polyneuropathy.
  • Stresam® was also proven to have the ability to alleviate mild depressions which are widespread nowadays.
  • Stresam® has an indirect effect on the course of cardiovascular, pulmonary, gastroenterological and other diseases of psychosomatic nature.

The facts mentioned above make this drug a decent alternative to other anxiolytics currently used in everyday medical practice in the treatment of anxiety disorders of various origins. The drug is approved in more than 40 countries.