Military Announces Clinical Trials Set For PTSD Drugs

PTSDOur country has been at war for over a decade.  Our soldiers are tired and weary, and many dealing with severe issues, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from the things they have seen and experienced on the battlefield.

Although doctors like Dr. Elspeth Cameron Ritchie whom recently retired from the U.S. Army as a colonel and is now the chief clinical officer for the District of Columbia’s department of mental health, encourages counseling in several forms and consideration for such things as acupuncture, yoga and therapy dogs to help veterans adjust, many military and Veterans Affairs Department physicians often prescribe medication to ease the symptoms of combat-related PTSD.

But, there are only two antidepressantsPaxil and Zoloft — that are approved specifically by the Food and Drug Administration to treat the disorder.  And, little data exists on which “off-label” medications work and which don’t.

Therefore, according to recent announcements, the Army is trying to get a better handle on the very complicated issue of how drugs fit into the treatment of these traumatized veterans, with a study of the effectiveness of the drugs most often prescribed. The research will be launched next year, reports The Navy Times.

Speaking at the American Psychiatric Association meeting in Philadelphia, Army Maj. Gary Wynn of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and Col. David Benedik, associate director for the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences announced the service will start clinical trials next year to evaluate commonly prescribed PTSD medications like the antidepressant Cymbalta, mirtazapine, prazosin and atypical antipsychotics like Seroquel. It will test hundreds of vets and service members at multiple sites over several years.

“We’re trying to advance the science to catch up with clinical practice,” Wynn said. “This effort will seek to provide clinicians with a higher level of evidence when choosing a drug.” says Army Major Wynn.

The announcement follows a memo on February 22 from Assistant Secretary of Defense Jonathan Woodson to all of the branches of the military about what the military was seeing in PTSD treatment, expressing that “the greatest concern is the suspicion of the over-prescription of antipsychotic medications for PTSD.”

In it, he also points out that while antidepressant use had changed little between 2002 and 2009, the prescription rates for atypical antipsychotics increased by 10 times during that period, from 0.1% to 1%. The memo says AstraZeneca’s Seroquel was prescribed to 1.4% of the Army and 0.7% of the Marines in fiscal year 2010.

On April 10, the Army’s Office of the Surgeon General also issued a guidance memo for PTSD, including caution about antipsychotic drugs. “There are numerous concerns with potential long-term adverse health effects,” the memo said, “and these medications have shown disappointing results in clinical trials in the treatment of PTSD.”

Wynn and Benedik hope their efforts will lead to better treatments for PTSD in both combat veterans and civilians.

“For pharmaceuticals that show benefits in treating combat-related PTSD, the Department of Defense may work toward a new indication or change in labeling,” Wynn said.

Published results from the first trial are expected by 2016.



, , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

GET HELP NOW!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Latest Drug Injury News

What Is Doribax?

According to the FDA the antibacterial drug Doribax, that has been used to treat patients who develop pneumonia on ventilators, carries an increased risk of death and has a lower clinical cure rate by injection compared a similar drug known as Primaxin. What is Doribax? Doribax is an antibiotic that fights serious infections caused by […]

Is Using Tylenol or Ibuprofen During Pregnancy linked to ADHD?

What is a mother to do if she becomes ill during pregnancy?  The risks of consuming common drugs when pregnant are complex.  Although many doctors assure mothers that taking Tylenol is safe, a recent study by JAMA Pediatrics suggests otherwise.  The study found that mothers who used Tylenol for fever reduction while pregnant reported greater […]

Paxil Linked To Breast Cancer

City of Hope Cancer researchers indicate that a new test called the AroER Tri-Screen, desgined to look for drug side effects that could cause cancer, found a potential link between Paxil and breast cancer.  Paxil is a widely prescribed anti depressant. Research Researchers have found that Paxil has a weak estrogen effect that could increase […]

What Is Stroke?

Have you or someone you know had a stroke?  Chances are…yes.  According to the CDC, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. About 800,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke each year. What Is Stroke? Stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, […]

Paxil Possibly Linked To Breast Cancer Risk

Cancer researchers from the City of Hope National Medical Center announced a possible link between Paxil and breast cancer. Research focused on Paxil’s estrogen effect Researchers found that Paxil has a weak estrogen effect that could increase women’s breast cancer risks. According to lead author and chairman of City of Hope’s Department of Cancer and […]

Latest Medical Device Injury News

Report Raises Concerns Over Heart Defibrillator Leads

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just announced that they received a report that a St. Jude Durata cardiac defibrillator lead conductor became externalized; meaning the wire carrying electricity from the heart defibrillator to the heart was exposed through its insulation, a potentially dangerous and life-threatening defect.

HeartSine Class 1 Defibrillator Recall

HeartSine sent out a letter to customers in September, warning that the defibrillators may intermittently turn on and off, eventually depleting the battery.

FDA Medical Device Approval Based On Little Evidence

More than half of the high-risk cardiovascular devices approved in the past decade had no supporting active control data.

St. Jude Medical Gets FDA Warning

St. Jude Medical Inc. said it received a FDA warning about manufacturing and quality-control problems at its Sylmar, California, plant.

Hospira Still Facing Manufacturing And Regulatory Issues

Hospira has sent out 11 device notifications so far in 2013, including recall and device corrections. The company also said it sent notices to customers about some of its infusion pumps that had to either be recalled, fixed or adjusted.