Behavioral Neurobiology of Anxiety and Its Treatment

Volume 2 of the series Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences pp 505-525


Pharmacotherapy of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Lakshmi N. RavindranAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of California San DiegoDepartment of Psychiatry, VA San Diego Healthcare System
  • , Murray B. SteinAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego Email author 

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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a prevalent psychiatric disorder that may result in significant social and occupational debilitation unless symptoms are recognized and treated appropriately. Considerable research effort has been devoted over the last 20years to developing effective pharmacological treatments for this illness. At this time, the bulk of the agents investigated include antidepressants, anticonvulsants, atypical antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, and antiadrenergic agents. Herein, we review the existing evidence base for these different classes of psychotropics in PTSD. Emphasis is placed on discussion of evidence stemming from randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials wherever possible. A brief description of novel agents that have shown initial promise for PTSD treatment is also provided.


Pharmacotherapy Post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD Treatment Biological treatment Medication