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Web searches for anxiolytic drugs during the COVID-19 outbreak in the USA
  1. Giuseppe Lippi1,
  2. Brandon M Henry2,
  3. Fabian Sanchis-Gomar3
  1. 1Section of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
  2. 2Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
  3. 3Department of Physiology, University of Valencia, Valencia, Comunitat Valenciana, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Fabian Sanchis-Gomar, Department of Physiology, University of Valencia, Valencia, Comunitat Valenciana, Spain; fabian.sanchis{at}

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Several lines of evidence attest that the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is accompanied by a vast array of physiological problems in the community.1 Since the emergence or magnification of anxiety disorders in the general population has also been suggested during the COVID-19 outbreak,2 we aimed to provide further insights on this matter by performing an electronic search in Google Trends (Google Inc, Mountain View, CA, USA), using the terms corresponding to the most common anxiolytic medicines used in the USA (ie, ‘Alprazolam’, ‘Diazepam’, ‘Lorazepam’, and ‘Clonazepam’) along with their brand names (‘Xanax’, ‘Valium’, ‘Ativan’, and ‘Klonopin’, respectively), and setting the country option to ‘United States’. The weekly Google Trends score recorded for each of the keywords after the emergence of the COVID-19 outbreak in the USA (ie, between 19 January to 18 November 2020) was compared with the average score recorded during each corresponding week of the previous 4 years (ie, between 19 January 2016 to 8 November 2019). The overall number of new weekly …

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  • Contributors GL: conception and design. GL: acquisition of data. GL, FS-G, BMH: data analysis. GL, FS-G, and BMH: writing of the manuscript and interpretation of the data.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.