According to what I've read, PTSD patients may be treated using
anti-anxiety medications like sertraline and benzodiazepines. Below
are several websites that discuss the treatment of PTSD with
medication as well as a source for finding out more information about
Note: Sertraline is the generic name for Zoloft. If you are
interested in information about sertraline please read the information
from MedMaster (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/medmaster/a697048.html)
and/or the USP DI (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/uspdi/202651.html).
These are two consumer health drug databases that are free on the
Department of Veterans Affairs: Treatment of PTSD
This general fact sheet about therapy for PTSD (including talk
therapies) includes the following about pharmacotherapy:
"Pharmacotherapy (medication) can reduce the anxiety, depression, and
insomnia often experienced with PTSD, and in some cases, it may help
relieve the distress and emotional numbness caused by trauma memories.
Several kinds of antidepressant drugs have contributed to patient
improvement in most (but not all) clinical trials, and some other
classes of drugs have shown promise. At this time, no particular drug
has emerged as a definitive treatment for PTSD. However, medication
is clearly useful for symptom relief, which makes it possible for
survivors to participate in psychotherapy."
A more helpful sheet from the DVA is the following:
Recommendations for Pharmacological Treatment of Acute Stress Reactions
"To date there have been no controlled pharmacological treatment
trials for acute stress reactions. Consequently, the present
recommendations are based on controlled studies of insomnia, anxiety,
and depression, as well as anecdotal evidence. Furthermore, there are
no FDA approved medications for acute stress reactions and the only
FDA approved medication for PTSD is sertraline."
You may want to read that complete page for its overview of drugs related to PTSD.
This online booklet (also available in PDF format) goes through
different medications and the diseases for which they are prescribed.
PTSD is discussed under "Anxiety Medications":
"Anxiety is often manageable and mild, but sometimes it can present
serious problems. A high level or prolonged state of anxiety can make
the activities of daily life difficult or impossible. People may have
generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or more specific anxiety disorders
such as panic, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Both antidepressants and antianxiety medications are used to treat
anxiety disorders. The broad-spectrum activity of most antidepressants
provides effectiveness in anxiety disorders as well as depression. The
first medication specifically approved for use in the treatment of OCD
was the tricyclic antidepressant clomipramine (Anafranil). The SSRIs,
fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), and
sertraline (Zoloft) have now been approved for use with OCD.
Paroxetine has also been approved for social anxiety disorder (social
phobia), GAD, and panic disorder; and sertraline is approved for panic
disorder and PTSD. Venlafaxine (Effexor) has been approved for GAD.
Antianxiety medications include the benzodiazepines, which can relieve
symptoms within a short time. They have relatively few side effects:
drowsiness and loss of coordination are most common; fatigue and
mental slowing or confusion can also occur. These effects make it
dangerous for people taking benzodiazepines to drive or operate some
machinery. Other side effects are rare."
These websites were found in the MEDLINEPlus consumer health database
that is free on the web at http://www.medlineplus.gov. That database
has a "health topic" for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that indexes a
large number of websites about PTSD that are trustworthy and generally
You may find some of the additional information available there
Please let me know if there is further research I can do for you on PTSD!