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PTSD Questions & Answers
Joyce Boaz & Dr. Frank Ochberg, M.D.

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Helpful medications for PTSD that includes Depression.

Q: Dear Frank, What medication do you find to be the most helpful for PTSD that includes depression and anxiety? What about Hypervigilance?

A: Dear Joyce, The medical answer is an SSRI. (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). It helps depression and anxiety and it does not need ever-increasing dosage to be effective. But it takes a month to work and it needs to be used long-term. Short acting drugs do better for quick relief of PTSD anxiety. Currently the antihypertensives like CLONIDINE -an alpha blocker - are preferred.

The benzodiazapines, like KLONOPIN are not recommended. But I will use Klonopin and Ativan and Valium when the patient has tolerated them well and can be trusted to use them properly.

Regarding the choice of SSRI (or SNRI - Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) - that often takes trial and error. A good doctor makes an informed guess based on family history and previous use of meds and consideration of side effects. I often start with Lexapro.


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Page created on 24 May 2014
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