Skip to comments.Drugs Found Ineffective for Veteransí Stress
Posted on 08/04/2011 5:30:02 PM PDT by neverdem
Drugs widely prescribed to treat severe post-traumatic stress symptoms for veterans are no more effective than placebos and come with serious side effects, including weight gain and fatigue, researchers reported on Tuesday.
The surprising finding, from the largest study of its kind in veterans, challenges current treatment standards so directly that it could alter practice soon, some experts said.
Ten percent to 20 percent of those who see heavy combat develop lasting symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and about a fifth of those who get treatment receive a prescription for a so-called antipsychotic medication, according to government numbers.
The new study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, focused on one medication, Risperdal. But experts said that its results most likely extend to the entire class, including drugs like Seroquel, Geodon and Abilify.
I think its a very important study given how frequently the drugs have been prescribed, said Dr. Charles Hoge, a senior scientist at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, who was not involved in the study but wrote an editorial accompanying it. He added, It definitely calls into question the use of antipsychotics in general for PTSD.
The use of such drugs has grown sharply over the past decade, as thousands of returning soldiers and Marines have found that their post-traumatic stress symptoms do not respond to antidepressants, the only drugs backed by scientific evidence for the disorder. Doctors have turned to antipsychotics, which strongly affect mood, to augment treatment, based almost entirely on their experience with them and how they expect them to work.
To test those assumptions, a team of researchers affiliated with the Veterans Affairs medical system had 123 veterans with the disorder begin a regimen that added Risperdal to their treatment. Some of the patients served in Vietnam, others in...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Risperdal is the trade name of Risperidone, the generic.
The named drugs in the Times article are usually called atypical antipsychotics.
How can a drug eliminate a memory?
It is a strong man that stays 'sane' after seeing what he sees in combat ... feeling what he feels.
I have great respect for the returned warrior and pray for them almost daily ... there's daily mention, but sometimes prayer eludes me.
They're trying to alter the reaction to the memory. Thanks for the prayers!
Time, too, should be taken into consideration, recent research has found. Were finding that about 24 months after a one-year deployment is about enough for the body to reset itself physiologically, Dr. Hoge said.
Dahhhhhh, most of us could have told them that 40 years ago.
These drugs are not designed to eliminate memories, but to make them less distressing.
Iraqi combat has left me with an incredible startle reflex producing a jump with every sudden noise and sleep problems. I have to say that respiridne did not help but turned me into a zombie. Time is helping but after 12 months, the problem is hardwired. I know a USS Arizona surviver who still has this and Viet Nam Vets who are still plagued with this.
The DoD is getting set to hire over 500 addiction counsellors at circa $53K a pop (this from a likely candidate) because there will be addicted vets (or soon-to-be addicted vets coming off various prescription meds they’ve been on to deal with sleep disorders and stress) coming home in large numbers soon.
I´m dubious of PTSD cause I´m one of the scarediest cats I know, but went through all heck in Vietnam and have never had any issues with it at all.
I´d say though that psychologists and quasi-hypnotic therapy really helped my wife out of agoraphobia following the birth of our daughter some 36 years ago when it wasn´t generally understood. And the only drugs involved were over-the-counter. I´d think there could be some benefit in this to the more severe PTSD patients.
Between you, me and the gate post, a heavy belt of vodka before going to bed helps. Don’t tell anyone I said this.
I've done most drugs available during the late '60's and early '70's, and if this is sanity, I thank God for it, 'cause I sure tried to do damage to myself.
Having said that .. I never got away from my mind ... I am ever present with me ... and THAT is what I'm refering to.
I can only offer my empathy and prayers, brother.
Thanks buddy, I appreciate that.
Our minds are so stinking complicated and then we have the fact that we are all different, yet the same, that makes this all seem impossible. I have read that depression is not a symptom of PTS but can be a great influence on those who have PTSD. (Not all who suffer have all the symptom.)
The problem with PTS is not the memory, it is the reaction to the memory. We cannot and refuse to forget, however the pain of the memory can be overwhelming. I would not be surprised if there were not phases that we would have to go through to heal, as in mourning.
There is an interesting treatment for PTSD called Neuro or Biofeedback therapy. Its been around for a while but only recently been given to PTSD sufferers. For those interested:
He has a series called Overcoming Stress, Fear and Pain, that is available for download.
I haven't listened to it but am curious if anyone else has ever tried it and what they think about it.
BE STILL AND KNOW!
I’m not familiar with either name. Thanks for the links.