Drug treatments in the management of PTSD


The UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence Guidelines on PTSD: Based on rigorous meta-analysis, detailed literature review and two public consultations, the national guidelines for the assessment, prevention and treatment of PTSD in the UK will be presented in this symposium on behalf of the Guideline Development Group.

Drug treatments in the management of PTSD: Drug treatments are increasingly used in the management of PTSD and have been supported by a number of recent reviews although there have been increasing concerns about their safety. Recent guidance has been issued in the UK by the Regulatory Agency concerning the use of SSRI drugs in people of all ages, but especially in children and young adults. In a meta-analysis of the clinical trial literature for PTSD, following a rigorous bibliographic search, 26 RCTs meeting strict criteria were identified. Data on two hitherto unpublished trials of sertraline were available for inclusion. This review highlights the methodological issues involved in comparing drug trials and trials of psychological therapies. Nonetheless, meta-analysis demonstrates that drug treatments for PTSD are probably more disappointing than hitherto believed. Only five drugs emerged with recommendations for use. One of these has a reliable if modest effect (paroxetine). The other four are included on the basis of small single trial reports. Although there are clear indications for drug treatments, in general there should be an increasing emphasis on ensuring that trauma-focused psychological treatments (CBT and EMDR) are widely available, delivered by competent practitioners, and easily accessible in a timely fashion in primary and secondary care settings.






S. Turner

Original Work Citation

Turner, S. (2005, November). Drug treatments in the management of PTSD. Symposium (S. Turner, Chair) conducted at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies 21st Annual Meeting, Toronto, ON



“Drug treatments in the management of PTSD,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 9, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/18994.

Output Formats