Preliminary findings concerning the use of prazosin for the treatment of posttraumatic nightmares in a refugee population

Lorin Boynton, Jacob Bentley, Eric Strachan, Anna Barbato, Murray Raskind

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Prazosin, a centrally active alpha-1 adrenergic receptor antagonist, has reduced nightmares and sleep disturbances in placebo-controlled studies involving patients with combat and civilian related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this retrospective chart review, we analyzed data from 23 refugees diagnosed with chronic PTSD who were treated with prazosin. The recurrent distressing dreams item of the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) was used to quantify nightmare severity. A Clinical Global Impressions-Change (CGI-C) score assessed change in overall PTSD severity exclusive of nightmares. Using a paired-samples t-test, we found that CAPS scores decreased significantly (p <0.0005) from baseline after 8 weeks of treatment with a stable dose of prazosin. Overall PTSD severity was "markedly improved" in 6 patients, "moderately improved" in 11 patients, and "minimally improved" in 6 patients. These data provide preliminary support for the use of prazosin in targeting reduction of trauma-related nightmares and promoting improvement of global clinical status within an international sample of severely traumatized refugee patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-459
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of psychiatric practice
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Global concern
  • Nightmares
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Prazosin
  • Refugees

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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