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Primary prevention of posttraumatic stress disorder: Drugs and implications. Review

: Burbiel, Joachim C.

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Military medical research : MMR 2 (2015), No.1, Art.24, 7 pp.
ISSN: 2054-9369
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer INT ()
posttraumatic stress disorder; PTSD; prevention; pre-treatment; propranolol; prazosin; ketamine; morphine; anisomycin; osanetant

Because posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a highly debilitating condition, prevention is an important research topic. This article reviews possible prevention approaches that involve the administration of drugs before the traumatic event takes place. The considered approaches include drugs that address the sympathetic nervous system, drugs that interfere with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, narcotics and other psychoactive drugs, as well as modulators of protein synthesis. Furthermore, some thoughts on potential ethical implications of the use of drugs for the primary prevention of PTDS are presented. While there are many barriers to overcome in this field of study, this paper concludes with a call for additional research, as there are currently no approaches that are well-suited for regular use.