Saturday, May 12, 2012

Army to study use of 'off label' drugs to treat PTSD

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — The Army will conduct a multi-year study to evaluate a “range of pharmaceuticals” often prescribed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder but not approved specifically for that purpose, according to a bulletin released this week by the American Psychiatric Association.

To date, only the antidepressants Paxil and Zoloft have gained U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to treat PTSD, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, doctors have been prescribing other antidepressant drugs, as well as antipsychotics and even painkillers, depending on a patient’s symptoms.

Army doctors said a lack of evidence-based guidelines regarding such so-called “off-label” medications is the driving force for the study

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