Treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder with nefazodone.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are useful in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but have a number of side-effects which limit their acceptability. A newer serotonergic compound, nefazodone, has a different side-effect profile, thus making it a potentially promising compound to study. Seventeen private practice patients with PTSD were treated with nefazodone up to 600 mg/day for a maximum total treatment period of 12 weeks. All subjects were civilians, and were monitored for efficacy and side-effects at weeks 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12. Nefazodone was associated with statistically significant improvement in mean scores on all six rating scales used to assess change from baseline in PTSD symptoms. Additionally, statistically significant improvement from baseline were seen for the intrusive, avoidant/numbing, and hyperarousal clusters on a global PTSD scale. Early improvements in nightmares and general sleep disturbance were observed. Overall, there was a 43% response rate at endpoint, or 60% in treatment completers, by observer rating. Side-effects (assessed on the Medication Effects Scale) were generally benign. Nefazodone was associated with clinical improvement in this population, and now needs to be studied in double-blind, placebo controlled, protocols.
Davidson, JR; Weisler, RH; Malik, ML; Connor, KM
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