Patients with terrorism-related post-traumatic stress disorder experienced greatest symptom improvement from a combination of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor plus cognitive behavior therapy, according to a study.
Researchers compared two groups of adult survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001 World Trade Center attack with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One group of 19 patients received 10 weeks of cognitive behavioral (prolonged exposure) therapy plus paroxetine. Another group of 18 patients received prolonged exposure therapy plus placebo.
Symptoms of PTSD improved in patients who received both the cognitive behavioral therapy plus paroxetine (IRR= 0.50; 95% CI, 0.30-0.85). Remission status also improved (OR = 12.6; 95% CI, 1.23-129) during the 10-week treatment period.
“These advantages must be weighed against potential disadvantages of the greater cost of combined treatments, the risk of adverse effects of medication and the risk that eventual discontinuation of mediation might be associated with risk of relapse,” the researchers wrote.
Disclosure: Research supported by Forest Laboratorie, National Institute of Mental Health, GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Marshall is currently employed by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals.