Treatment of Nightmares With Prazosin: A Systematic Review
ABSTRACT Nightmares, frequently associated with posttraumatic stress disorder and clinically relevant in today's world of violence, are difficult to treat, with few pharmacologic options. We performed a systematic review to evaluate the evidence for the use of prazosin in the treatment of nightmares. A comprehensive search was performed using the databases EMBASE, Ovid MEDLINE, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, from their inception to March 9, 2012, using keywords prazosin and nightmares/PTSD or associated terms (see text). Two authors independently reviewed titles and abstracts and selected relevant studies. Descriptive data and outcomes of interest from eligible studies were extracted by 1 author, and checked by 2 others. The risk of bias of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was assessed independently by 2 reviewers. Articles met criteria for inclusion if prazosin was used to treat nightmares, and outcome measures included nightmares or related symptoms of sleep disorders. Our search yielded 21 studies, consisting of 4 RCTs, 4 open-label studies, 4 retrospective chart reviews, and 9 single case reports. The prazosin dose ranged from 1 to 16 mg/d. Results were mixed for the 4 RCTs: 3 reported significant improvement in the number of nightmares, and 1 found no reduction in the number of nightmares. Reduced nightmare severity with use of prazosin was consistently reported in the open-label trials, retrospective chart reviews, and single case reports.
- SourceAvailable from: Jeffrey R Strawn[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Little is known regarding neuroendocrine responses in adolescent girls with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who have experienced sexual abuse. Therefore, we collected saliva samples three times daily for 3 days to assess concentrations of salivary alpha amylase (sAA) - a surrogate marker for autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity and, in particular, sympathetic activity - in sexually abused adolescent girls. Twenty-four girls (mean age: 15±1.4 years) who had experienced recent sexual abuse (i.e., sexual abuse occurred 1-6 months prior to study enrollment) and 12 healthy comparison subjects (mean age: 14.8±1.3 years) completed a structured interview and assessments to ascertain symptoms of posttraumatic stress, then collected saliva at home upon awakening, 30 minutes after waking, and at 5 p.m. on three consecutive school days. For sexually abused girls, total PTSD symptoms were associated with higher overall morning levels of sAA (r=0.51, p=0.02), a finding driven by intrusive symptoms (r=0.43, p<0.05) and hyperarousal symptoms (r=0.58, p=0.01). There were no significant differences in diurnal sAA secretion between the sexually abused girls and healthy comparison adolescents. Overall morning concentrations of sAA in sexually abused girls are associated with overall PTSD severity as well as symptoms of hyperarousal and intrusive symptoms, possibly reflecting symptom-linked increases in ANS tone. These data raise the possibility that alterations in ANS activity are related to the pathophysiology of sexual abuse-related PTSD in adolescent girls, and may inform therapeutic interventions (e.g., antiadrenergic medications).Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology 03/2015; 25(4). DOI:10.1089/cap.2014.0034 · 3.07 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Interest in the treatment of nightmares has greatly increased over the last several years as research has demonstrated the clinical significance of nightmare disorder. This paper provides an overview of nightmare disorder, its clinical relevance, and the leading treatments that are available. In particular, the paper defines nightmare disorder and then summarize the recent literature examining the clinical relevance of nightmare disorder, including its relation to post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychiatric conditions. The relation between nightmares and suicidality is also discussed. Recent findings on the treatment of nightmare with imagery rehearsal therapy and prazosin are then summarized. Lastly, the paper comments on potential future uses of nightmare treatment including using imagery rehearsal therapy or prazosin as a first-line intervention for post-traumatic stress disorder and using these treatments as an adjunctive therapy to reduce suicide risk in those at risk of suicide with nightmares.International Review of Psychiatry 06/2014; 26(2). DOI:10.3109/09540261.2014.888989 · 1.80 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are frequently symptomatic despite being on medications currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for PTSD. There is evidence to support the notion that prazosin is effective for PTSD nightmares. However, PTSD-related nightmares often do not resolve completely on a low dose of prazosin. The capacity of prazosin to treat daytime symptoms of PTSD which are distressing to patients has not been well studied. Clinicians are reluctant to increase the dose of prazosin due to side effect concerns. To date, the highest reported dose of prazosin used for PTSD is 16 mg daily. We illustrate two case reports using high-dose (up to 30 and 45 mg) prazosin for PTSD with comorbid treatment-resistant mood disorders. We report that high-dose prazosin was safe, tolerable and effective for PTSD in adults. To our knowledge, this is the first case series to highlight the importance of using high-dose prazosin for the treatment of PTSD. In patients with partial response to currently available medications for PTSD, greater utilization of high-dose prazosin for the management of PTSD may lead to better outcomes.Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology 02/2014; 4(1):43-47. DOI:10.1177/2045125313500982 · 1.53 Impact Factor