Anticonvulsants for PTSD


What are anticonvulsants for PTSD?

Anticonvulsants are primarily used to treat epilepsy, but may also be effective for some mental disorders. Anticonvulsant medications influence the actions of neurotransmitters including glutamate and GABA, leading to a decrease in brain cell (neuron) excitability. Anticonvulsant medications for PTSD symptoms assessed in this topic include topiramate, tiagabine, and divalproex.

What is the evidence on anticonvulsants for PTSD?

Moderate quality evidence found topiramate improved symptom response more than placebo. Tiagabine showed less symptom improvement than the antidepressant phenalzine, and divalproex showed less symptom improvement than the antidepressants phenelzine, paroxetine, and desipramine. There were more dropouts due to adverse events with topiramate than with the antidepressant brofaromine.

No other significant differences were found in response, symptom improvement or adverse effects between anticonvulsants and other pharmaceutical agents (antidepressants and antipsychotics).

August 2021

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Last updated at: 4:46 am, 15th October 2021
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.