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 April 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 April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
App Fights Jet Lag With The Power Of Math

App Fights Jet Lag With The Power Of Math

Newsy (Apr. 13, 2014) Researchers at the University of Michigan have designed an app to fight jet lag by adjusting your body's light intake. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treatment Gaps Endangering Cops, Mentally Ill

Treatment Gaps Endangering Cops, Mentally Ill

AP (Apr. 10, 2014) As states slash funding for mental health services, police officers are interacting more than ever with people suffering from schizophrenia and other serious disorders of the mind. The consequences can be deadly. (April 10) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Teen Drinking Rates Linked To Alcohol Mentions In Pop Music

Teen Drinking Rates Linked To Alcohol Mentions In Pop Music

Newsy (Apr. 9, 2014) A University of Pittsburgh study found pop music that mentions alcohol is linked to higher drinking rates among teens. 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