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Ann Clin Psychiatry. 2000 Jun;12(2):101-5.

Lack of efficacy for fluoxetine in PTSD: a placebo controlled trial in combat veterans.

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Duke University Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Durham, NC 27710, USA.



Fluoxetine and placebo were studied in a population of combat veterans with severe, chronic PTSD.


Twelve male veterans with PTSD were enrolled in a 12 week double-blind evaluation of fluoxetine and placebo. Mean fluoxetine dose at endpoint (week 12) was 48 mg/day with a range of 10 mg to 60 mg.


One fluoxetine patient responded (17%) and two of the six placebo patients responded (33%).


Fluoxetine patients did not show a greater response than placebo patients in this small sample of male combat veterans with severe, chronic PTSD. Fluoxetine has displayed an efficacious response in controlled studies of patients with PTSD who were predominantly female, suffered civilian (noncombat) traumas, and were overall experiencing less severe PTSD. The reasons for the low response rate to fluoxetine in our study is unknown and will await further study examining variables other than symptoms that might influence outcome, such as gender, comorbidity, prior treatment history, trauma type, severity and chronicity.

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