Fenobam has anxiolytic effects comparable to those of benzodiazepine drugs, but was never commercially marketed for the treatment of anxiety due to dose-limiting side effects such as amnesia and psychotomimetic symptoms. Following the discovery of its activity as a potent negative allosteric modulator of mGluR5, fenobam has been re-investigated for many applications, with its profile of combined antidepressant, anxiolytic, analgesic and anti-addictive effects potentially useful given the common co-morbidity of these symptoms. It has also shown promising initial results in the treatment of fragile X syndrome. It was developed by a team at McNeil Laboratories in the 1970s.
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