What are antipsychotics for PTSD?

While most pharmacological guidelines suggest first-line pharmacotherapy should include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants, some people with PTSD do not adequately respond to this treatment. There are also high prevalence rates of PTSD symptoms in people with psychosis, particularly in hospitalised patients. Antipsychotics are effective for the symptoms of psychosis and have also been investigated in people with a primary diagnosis of PTSD.

What is the evidence on antipsychotics for PTSD?

Moderate to high quality evidence found a small improvement in PTSD symptoms with risperidone or olanzapine than with placebo. Olanzapine was also more effective for symptom improvement than the antidepressant citalopram.

There were no significant differences between antipsychotics and placebo in treatment dropouts due to adverse events, however there was more weight gain with antipsychotics.

August 2021

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Last updated at: 2:24 pm, 15th February 2022
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