Pharmacologic treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder: a focus on antipsychotic use.
To review the literature on the pharmacologic treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with a focus on reports of antipsychotic use for this illness. A MEDLINE search (1966-Oct 2002) for English only articles about pharmacologic treatment of PTSD. Antipsychotic medications are being used with some frequency for PTSD. There are few studies and scant evidence to recommend the traditional antipsychotics. There are a number of reports (mostly case reports and open trials) in which atypical antipsychotics improved sleep and decreased the frequency of nightmares and flashbacks. Some studies showed global improvement across symptom clusters. The newer atypical antipsychotics show promise for the treatment of PTSD, mainly ameliorating intrusive symptoms. The paucity of double-blind studies prevents firm conclusions, however, this class of medications may be useful particularly for refractory symptoms.
Ahearn, EP; Krohn, A; Connor, KM; Davidson, JRT
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