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Topiramate Effective in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance/numbing symptoms improve significantly with topiramate

FRIDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Topiramate effectively improves avoidance/numbing symptom clusters and re-experiencing of symptoms in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a study published in the October issue of CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics.

Mary S.L. Yeh, from the Universidade Federal de São Paulo in Brazil, and colleagues investigated the efficacy and tolerability of topiramate in patients with PTSD. Patients from the outpatient clinic of the violence program of Federal University of São Paulo Hospital were assessed by Clinician-Administered Post-Traumatic Stress Scale (CAPS), Clinical Global Impression, and Beck Depression Inventory between 2006 and 2009. A total of 35 patients were randomized to receive topiramate (mean dose of 102.94 mg/day) or placebo, after a washout period of one week. The total score change for CAPS from baseline to end point was the main outcome measure.

The investigators found that topiramate was generally well tolerated. The PTSD symptoms improved in 82.35 percent of the patients in the topiramate group. Patients in the topiramate group showed significant improvements in re-experiencing symptoms (flashbacks, intrusive memories, nightmares of the trauma) and in avoidance/numbing symptoms associated with the trauma, social isolation, and emotional numbing. The decrease in the total CAPS score showed a significant difference in the topiramate group compared to the placebo group.

"Topiramate was effective in improving re-experiencing and avoidance/numbing symptom clusters in patients with PTSD. This study supports the use of anticonvulsants for the improvement of symptoms of PTSD," the authors write.

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