FOR RELEASE: 8 NOVEMBER 1996
Contacts: Sarah Goodwin
Rape Victims Find Relief From Posttraumatic Stress Using The Antidepressant Zoloft
Antidepressant use reduced depression, anxiety, insomnia and reexperiencing of the trauma in rape victims with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) participating in the first medication study dedicated solely to that patient group, report Barbara O. Rothbaum, Ph.D., and her colleagues in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, in the October issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress.
After 12 weeks on the antidepressant sertraline (Zoloft), four out of the five women who completed the open clinical study responded positively to treatment.
"Sertraline reduced PTSD and related symptoms in these rape victims," the authors report. "The mean Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) scores decreased by 53 percent...
"If supported by a larger controlled trial, the use of SSRIs like sertraline should be considered an option in the treatment of PTSD in rape survivors."
SSRIs (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) represent a relatively new class of antidepressants which includes fluoxetine (Prozac) and fluvoxomine (Luvox) as well as Zoloft. Other studies of pharmacological agents for PTSD have evaluated treatment primarily in war veterans. While PTSD symptoms are similar no matter the trauma, the researchers say that treatment of wa
Contact: Sarah Goodwin
Emory University Health Sciences Center
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