Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blood pressure drug effective for treating PTSD-related nightmares, study suggests

Date:
March 6, 2012
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
The blood pressure drug prazosin appears to be an effective treatment to curb post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-related nightmares.

Mayo Clinic researchers have found the use of the blood pressure drug prazosin as an effective treatment to curb post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-related nightmares.

In a presentation during the 20th European Congress of Psychiatry in Prague, Mayo Clinic psychiatrists will present a systematic literature review of prazosin in the treatment of nightmares. Researchers investigated 12 prazosin studies, four of which were randomized controlled trials.

"The studies showed the drug was well-tolerated and can take effect rapidly, within days to weeks, and some patients reported a return of nightmares when the course of prazosin was stopped," says Simon Kung, M.D., a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist and principal investigator of the study.

"There's not much available for treating nightmares in terms of medications, so prazosin is a promising option," Dr. Kung says.

He added that the literature review opens the possibility of widening the use of prazosin. "Because of the low side effects of prazosin as reported in these studies, it seems logical to extend the use of prazosin to non-PTSD nightmares."

For people who suffer from PTSD, one of the most distressing effects is the experience of nightmares; in particular, the kinds of dreams that ruin sleep with extremely frightening images of physical or emotional threats. Nightmares can be so severe that they can contribute to alcoholism, substance abuse and suicidal thinking.

One possible cause of nightmare symptoms, such as disrupted sleep, is the development of overstimulated chemical messenger norepinephrine receptors in the central nervous system.

"The thinking is that pharmacologic agents, like prazosin, that block these receptors may be ideal in treating nightmares," Dr. Kung says.

Prazosin is a hypertension medication that's been used, following research that began a decade ago, by some Veterans Administration hospitals to treat PTSD-related nightmares.

Other investigators in the study include Maria Lapid, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, and Zelde Espinel M.D., M.P.H., of the Universidad El Bosque, Bogota, Colombia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Blood pressure drug effective for treating PTSD-related nightmares, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120306073013.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2012, March 6). Blood pressure drug effective for treating PTSD-related nightmares, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120306073013.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Blood pressure drug effective for treating PTSD-related nightmares, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120306073013.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins