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J Trauma Stress. 2007 Dec;20(6):923-32.

Pharmacotherapy to prevent PTSD: Results from a randomized controlled proof-of-concept trial in physically injured patients.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Acute physical injury is frequently associated with mental health sequelae, which then accentuate disability and worsen functional outcomes. A pharmacological prevention approach to this problem has been proposed. This proof-of-concept study was a double-blind, randomized controlled trial of 14 days of the beta-blocker propranolol (n = 17), the anxiolytic anticonvulsant gabapentin (n = 14), or placebo (n = 17), administered within 48 hours of injury to patients admitted to a surgical trauma center. Of 569 accessible, potentially eligible subjects, 48 (8%) participated. Outcomes assessments were conducted at 1, 4, and 8 months postinjury. Although well tolerated, neither study drug showed a significant benefit over placebo on depressive or posttraumatic stress symptoms. Implications are discussed for future pharmacological prevention studies in survivors of acute traumatic injury.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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