Pharmacotherapy Trials in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Prospects and Problems
Although a clinical symptom picture resembling the currently accepted DSM-III diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been recognized for decades, focused trials of psychopharmacological agents are a relatively recent development. The initial report by Hogben and Cornfield1 of a dramatic effect of treatment with the monoamine oxidase inhibitor phenelzine in patients with “traumatic war neurosis” has been followed by a spate of positive reports. These reports have attributed beneficial effects to a variety of drugs including tricyclic antidepressants,2,3 the limbic anticonvulsant carbamazepine,4 and the β-receptor blocker propranolol.5 Contrary to these generally optimistic reports, our experience with psychotropic agents in Israeli samples of PTSD patients has been less encouraging. This experience has been for the most part prospective and, in two studies, double-blind in nature using a drug/placebo crossover design.
KeywordsPtsd Symptom Panic Disorder Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Ptsd Patient Psychotropic Agent
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