Pharmacological treatment of comorbid PTSD and substance use disorder: recent progress

Addictive Behaviors
Mehmet SofuogluIsmene L Petrakis


Previous research has identified a strong association between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder (SUD), necessitating the development of treatments that address both conditions. Some pharmacotherapies are effective for the treatment of PTSD and SUD alone, however; no medications have been proven to be effective for the combination of these conditions. We review the recent advances in pharmacological treatment of comorbid PTSD and SUD. A randomized clinical trial of sertraline, a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), did not show overall efficacy for comorbid PTSD and alcohol dependence (AD), although it may have efficacy among light drinkers. Another clinical trial demonstrated the efficacy of both disulfiram and naltrexone for the treatment of AD in individuals with PTSD. A more recent clinical trial suggested that norepinephrine uptake inhibitors may also have efficacy for the treatment of comorbid PTSD and AD. In animal and preliminary human studies, brain norepinephrine and glutamate/GABA have emerged as potential treatment targets for comorbid PTSD and SUD. Noradrenergic medications that are promising for comorbid PTSD and SUD include prazosin, guanfacine, and atomoxetine. Promising glutamate/GA...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Biological Adaptation to Stress
Central Nervous System Stimulant [EPC]
Laboratory Studies
Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor [EPC]
Central Nervous System Stimulants
Dual Diagnosis (Psychiatry)
alpha-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic Acid
Depressed - Symptom
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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