Antidepressant Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

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Recent large double-blind, placebo-controlled trials have indicated that sertraline is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The avoidance/numbing symptom cluster improved the most significantly with sertraline, but significant improvements were also noted for the intrusive/reexperiencing and arousal symptom clusters. Smaller double-blind, placebo-controlled trials have also indicated that fluoxetine is an effective treatment for PTSD. Multiple small, open studies with other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and newer antidepressants indicate that these medications show some promise. Older studies indicate some efficacy for tricyclic antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors are a reasonable choice, particularly for intrusive/reexperiencing symptoms.

J Clin Psychiatry 2000;61(suppl 7):40-43