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Ann Clin Psychiatry. 2001 Sep;13(3):141-6.

Gabapentin in PTSD: a retrospective, clinical series of adjunctive therapy.

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  • 1Mental Health Service, Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Charleston, South Carolina 29401, USA.


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms may improve significantly with antidepressant medications, however some phenomena often remain refractory to the most commonly used treatments. Frequently, sleep disturbances, such as insomnia and nightmares, are symptoms of PTSD that are refractory to antidepressant treatment. Gabapentin, a novel anticonvulsant agent, has been of interest as a potential anxiolytic agent, but has not been evaluated in PTSD. We reviewed records of 30 consecutive patients who had been diagnosed with PTSD according to structured interviews and had received gabapentin as an adjunctive medication. For each patient, the target symptoms that led to the initiation of gabapentin treatment were identified. Using the most recent clinical data available, the change in target symptom severity following treatment was rated as unimproved, mildly improved, moderately improved, or markedly improved. The gabapentin was often first prescribed to facilitate sleep. The majority (77%) of patients showed moderate or greater improvement in duration of sleep, and most noted a decrease in the frequency of nightmares. The dose range was 300-3600 mg/day. Sedation and mild dizziness were the most commonly reported side effects. This retrospective study suggests that gabapentin may improve in particular sleep difficulties and also other symptoms associated with chronic PTSD. Prospective, controlled studies are needed to further investigate the effects of gabapentin on insomnia, nightmares, and other core PTSD symptoms.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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