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Long-Term Treatment and Prevention of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Jonathan R. T. Davidson, MD

Published: January 1, 2004

Article Abstract

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disabling condition almost universally associated withpsychiatric comorbidity, reduced quality of life, and a chronic, often lifelong, course. Although acutetreatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) has been shown to be effective, successfulstrategies for preventing PTSD have not been established. In addition, studies of the long-termtreatment of chronic PTSD are just beginning to emerge. This review considers available evidence forthe secondary prevention of PTSD in the acute aftermath of trauma and the long-term treatment ofestablished PTSD. Unanswered questions pertaining to duration of treatment, candidates for longtermtreatment, and potentially harmful treatments will also be considered.

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