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Pharmacological treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: a systematic literature review

Grant number: 20/14814-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2021
Effective date (End): January 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Psychiatry
Principal researcher:Andrea de Abreu Feijó de Mello
Grantee:Cauê do Prado Nascimento
Home Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/12559-5 - Posttraumatic stress disorder and neuroprogression: new approaches to understand the effects of violence on mental functioning, AP.TEM


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic psychiatric disease that has an 11% prevalence in Brazil's population, and it can have an important impact on the person's quality of life. The disease develops after facing a trauma that has a significant psychological impact on the patient, and it depends on several risk factors that can be related to the trauma (the type of trauma and its severity), to the subject (such as age, sex, personality and genetic predisposition) and post-trauma factors (psychological response to the trauma and constantly feeling threatened, and social suport). International guidelines recommend psychotherapy and medication for its treatment (Association 2017). Most of the treatments used derive from medications developed to treat other diseases, mainly for depression, among pharmacological treatments, different drugs are recommended depending on the guideline. The most prescribed drugs, with more evidence, are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (Foa et al. 2020). The main classes of drugs used are antidepressants, but also anticonvulsants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines and antiadrenergic drugs are prescribed (Meleiro 2018). Currently, there are doubts about the superiority of a specific agent over another, this project intends to study using a systematic review of the current literature the most efficient pharmacological treatments for the management of PTSD.

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