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Another Drug to Treat Post Traumatic Stress

Anti-depressant Paxil joins the list

FRIDAY, Jan. 4, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- The anti-anxiety drug Paxil (paroxetine HCl) has joined Zoloft as an FDA-approved treatment for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to its maker, GlaxoSmithKline. Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride) was the first anti-depression drug approved by the FDA to treat PTSD in late 1999.

Post traumatic stress disorder affects millions of people, usually after they have either seen or been part of an intensely emotional or dramatic event. This can run the gamut from being in combat to witnessing an accident.

Paxil's approval came after clinical trials that showed "paroxetine was effective for both men and women," according to research published in the Dec. 2001 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Here's the article's conclusion: "Doses of 20 and 40 mg/day of paroxetine are effective and well tolerated in the treatment of adults with chronic PTSD."

PTSD first came to the public's attention as a diagnosable and treatable condition during the Vietnam War years. Many veterans began exhibiting such symptoms as sleeping or concentration difficulty, irritability, jumpiness, and combat flashbacks after returning to civilian life.

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have recently revived interest in PTSD after health officials reported major increases in reported incidents.

To learn more about PTSD, visit the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress.

Here is how Paxil's properties and effectiveness are described by RXList.

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