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Trial of Trazodone for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Using a Multiple Baseline Group Design

Hertzberg, Michael A. MD; Feldman, Michelle E. BA; Beckham, Jean C. PhD; Davidson, Jonathan R.T. MD

Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology: August 1996 - Volume 16 - Issue 4 - p 294-298

Six patients with combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) entered a multiple-baseline trial of trazodone, beginning with 50 mg/day and increasing to 400 mg/day until response was maximal. Total Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale scores decreased from a mean of 92 at baseline to 79 at end point, and self-reported PTSD symptoms as measured by the Davidson Trauma Scale paralleled these results (mean of 102 at baseline to 88 at end point). Based on clinician global improvement scores, four patients were rated as much improved and two were rated to be minimally improved. Improvement in social and occupational functioning, and depression was minimal. Available follow-up scores for PTSD symptoms indicated that gains were maintained. Sleep was the first symptom to improve at 2 to 3 months. No dropouts during the treatment period occurred, and reported side effects were quite low. These preliminary data suggest that trazodone may be effective in reducing the three primary clusters of symptoms of PTSD. These findings should be confirmed by using a larger sample in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. (J Clin Psychopharmacol 1996;16:294-298).

(Hertzberg, Beckham, Davidson) Duke University Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry; (Hertzberg, Feldman, Beckham) Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.

Received April 11, 1995; accepted after revision December 15, 1995.

Address requests for reprints to: Michael A. Hertzberg, MD, DVAMC, 116A, 508 Fulton Street, Durham, NC 27705.

© Williams & Wilkins 1996. All Rights Reserved.