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Topiramate in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Preliminary Clinical Observations

Jeffrey L. Berlant, MD, PhD

Published: January 3, 2001

Article Abstract

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious and debilitating mental condition that affects a significant proportion of the general population at some time in their lives. To date, however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved only 1 pharmacologic treatment for this indication. Additional effective therapies are urgently required to control the destructive symptoms experienced by individuals with PTSD. This article reviews the effects of the novel antiepileptic drug topiramate on 3 patients meeting DSM-IV criteria for chronic PTSD. In these previously treatment-refractory patients, topiramate had a marked effect: reducing and even eliminating trauma-related intrusive memories and nightmares and normalizing depressed mood. Adverse events were effectively controlled with careful drug titration and discontinuation of concomitant therapies. These findings, together with observations in more than 30 additional patients (reported elsewhere), suggest that further study of topiramate as a treatment for PTSD is warranted.

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