Prospective open-label study of add-on and monotherapy topiramate in civilians with chronic nonhallucinatory posttraumatic stress disorder

Berlant, Jeffrey L.
January 2004
BMC Psychiatry;2004, Vol. 4, p24
Academic Journal
Background: In order to confirm therapeutic effects of topiramate on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) observed in a prior study, a new prospective, open-label study was conducted to examine acute responses in chronic, nonhallucinatory PTSD. Methods: Thirty-three consecutive newly recruited civilian adult outpatients (mean age 46 years, 85% female) with DSM-IV-diagnosed chronic PTSD, excluding those with concurrent auditory or visual hallucinations, received topiramate either as monotherapy (n = 5) or augmentation (n = 28). The primary measure was a change in the PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C) score from baseline to 4 weeks, with response defined as a = 30% reduction of PTSD symptoms. Results: For those taking the PCL-C at both baseline and week 4 (n = 30), total symptoms declined by 49% at week 4 (paired t-test, P < 0.001) with similar subscale reductions for reexperiencing, avoidance/numbing, and hyperarousal symptoms. The response rate at week 4 was 77%. Age, sex, bipolar comorbidity, age at onset of PTSD, duration of symptoms, severity of baseline PCL-C score, and monotherapy versus add-on medication administration did not predict reduction in PTSD symptoms. Median time to full response was 9 days and median dosage was 50 mg/day. Conclusions: Promising open-label findings in a new sample converge with findings of a previous study. The use of topiramate for treatment of chronic PTSD, at least in civilians, warrants controlled clinical trials.


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