Medication for post-traumatic stress disorder
Although medication can’t replace psychological treatment, it can be a valuable addition in certain situations. But only a few medications have been proven to work. Because they may have side effects, it’s a good idea to carefully consider the pros and cons before deciding whether or not to use them.
Psychological support is the most important treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Scientific guidelines advise people not to only use medication. Medication is only considered in certain situations. The decision will depend on factors such as the type and severity of symptoms and whether the person has other illnesses such as depression, an anxiety disorder or an addiction.
Medication can be taken for the following purposes:
- Temporary relief of severe symptoms such as insomnia or panic attacks
- Long-term relief of PTSD symptoms
Antidepressants, sleeping pills and sedatives () are the most commonly used medications in the treatment of PTSD. Benzodiazepines aren’t suitable for the treatment of PTSD, though, because there’s a risk of becoming dependent on them and they hardly relieve the symptoms.
Before starting treatment with medication, it’s important to find out how effective it is and what side effects it may have. You should also talk to your doctor about what can be expected from the treatment, and then have regular appointments to discuss how well the medication is working and how to deal with any problems that arise. It’s important for the doctors and psychologists who are treating you to share information about your treatment. Psychologists aren’t allowed to prescribe medication.