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Am J Psychiatry. 2001 Dec;158(12):1982-8.

Efficacy and safety of paroxetine treatment for chronic PTSD: a fixed-dose, placebo-controlled study.

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Anxiety Disorders Clinic, Unit 69, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10032, USA.



This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of paroxetine for the treatment of patients with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Outpatients with chronic PTSD according to DSM-IV criteria and a score of 50 or more on the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale, part 2, were randomly assigned to take placebo (N=186), 20 mg/day of paroxetine (N=183), or 40 mg/day of paroxetine (N=182) for 12 weeks. Efficacy was assessed by examining the change in total score from baseline to endpoint on the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale, part 2, and rates of response ("very much improved" or "much improved") for global improvement on the Clinical Global Impression scale.


Paroxetine-treated patients in both dose groups demonstrated significantly greater improvement on primary outcome measures compared to placebo-treated patients in the intent-to-treat analysis. Moreover, paroxetine treatment resulted in statistically significant improvement compared to placebo on all three PTSD symptom clusters (reexperiencing, avoidance/numbing, and hyperarousal), social and occupational impairment, and comorbid depression. Paroxetine was effective for both men and women. Treatment response did not vary by trauma type, time since trauma, or severity of baseline PTSD or depressive symptoms. Both doses were well tolerated.


Doses of 20 and 40 mg/day of paroxetine are effective and well tolerated in the treatment of adults with chronic PTSD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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