Pharmacotherapy for PTSD

Matthew J. Friedman

in The Oxford Handbook of Traumatic Stress Disorders

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195399066
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Pharmacotherapy for PTSD

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This chapter reviews the published literature on pharmacotherapy for PTSD with specific attention to randomized clinical trials. Specific agents reviewed include: antidepressants, antiadrenergic agents, glucocorticoids, anticonvulsants, D-cycloserine, benzodiazepines, and antipsychotics. The empirical evidence indicates that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors can be considered first line medications for PTSD. It also indicates that neither atypical antipsychotic agents nor benzodiazepines can be recommended at this time. Combined approaches are also reviewed in which pharmacotherapy is combined with psychotherapy or other medications. Important gaps in current knowledge are also considered.It is clear that pharmacotherapy remains an important clinical option because medications are effective; they are often useful for treating comorbid depression and other anxiety disorders; they are generally wellaccepted by patients; and, finally the availability of prescribing clinicians is much greater than the availability of qualified psychotherapists.

Keywords: ptsd; pharmacotherapy; randomized clinical trials; antidepressants; anti-adrenergic agents; anticonvulsants/mood stabilizers; benzodiazepines; antipsychotics

Article.  8155 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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