Thursday, July 25, 2013

Prazosin Appears Effective for PTSD-Related Nightmares in Soldiers, Study Finds

Prazosin, an alpha-adrenergic blocker, appears to be effective for combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with trauma nightmares in active-duty soldiers, according to an online report in AJP in Advance. Researchers at the VISN 20 Northwest Network Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC) in Seattle and at three other institutions randomly assigned soldiers to treatment with prazosin or placebo for 15 weeks. The drug was titrated based on nightmare response over six weeks. Primary outcome measures were the nightmare item of the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and the change item of the Clinical Global Impressions Scale anchored to functioning.

Results showed that prazosin was effective in improving trauma nightmares, sleep quality, global function, CAPS score, and the CAPS hyperarousal symptom cluster. However, there were substantial residual symptoms, according to the secondary measures, suggesting that studies combining prazosin with effective psychotherapies might demonstrate further benefit.

The report is posted here. For additional information on this subject, see Psychiatric News here.

(Image: Twin Design/