Tag Archives: antidepressants

Current and novel pharmacological therapeutic approaches in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. A brief review

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2021-0023

Objective: Although not highly prevalent among the general population, post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious psychiatric condition, associated with co-morbidities, mortality and high suicide rates. Currently, there are few approved pharmacological therapies, which count as second-line, augmented to psychotherapy. Studies from the literature emphasize the need for novel treatment options, due to high relapse rates and patients that do not achieve remission. This study provides an overview over the pharmacological treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, from a neurobiological perspective.
Methods: A systematic research has been conducted through PubMed, PLOS one, Cochrane library and Google Scholar databases.
Results: The neurobiological mechanisms which underlies the symptomatology are not fully elucidated. In the present, some theories involved in the onset/ manifestation are formulated (serotonergic, noradrenergic, glutamatergic, GABA-ergic, endocannabinoid) and the current therapy aims to modulate these neurotransmissions. In light of the studies along the years, a line should be drawn between the drugs acting on reducing the anxiety only and those that exhibit dual effect i.e. reducing the anxiety and affecting the memory reconsolidation processes. Although labelled as recreational drugs rather than compounds with intended therapeutic effects, cannabidiol and 3,4-methylenedioximethamphetamine appear to be the most promising from the perspective of efficacy and benefit-risk ratio.
Conclusion: Preclinical studies come with acceptable results, yet clinical trials are controversial and heterogeneous, given the small population size. Given the seriousness of post-traumatic stress disorder, the attempts to find effective and safe treatment in a context that lacks appropriate therapeutic approaches should be encouraged.

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