Paroxetine Treatment in Outpatients With Comorbid PTSD and Substance Dependence

2014-08-27 03:44:26 | BioPortfolio


Pharmacotherapy has demonstrated efficacy in a number of controlled trials in the treatment of PTSD. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have proven particularly useful in treating this disorder. Currently there are two selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (Zoloft® and Paxil®), that have been FDA approved for treating PTSD. Coincidentally, this same class of medications has also been shown to have efficacy in some trials in decreasing alcohol consumption in heavy drinkers. The goal of the proposed study is to preliminarily investigate the efficacy of Paxil® (paroxetine), in decreasing symptoms of PTSD as well as decreasing substance use, in individuals with concurrent substance dependence and PTSD. The type of paroxetine used in this trial will be Paxil CR®, which is a sustained release formulation of paroxetine, which has fewer side effects and greater tolerability. This is a particularly important issue in substance using populations because medication compliance is generally poor.

Two specific hypotheses will be tested. 1) Individuals who receive Paxil CR® will have a greater improvement in their PTSD symptoms (based on CAPS-2 and CGI) than those who receive placebo. 2) Individuals who receive Paxil CR® will have greater improvement in their substance use outcomes (based on UDS and TLFB) than will those who receive placebo.


Participants who meet all inclusion and no exclusion criteria will be randomized with a 1:1 ratio to receive either Paxil CR or placebo for 12 weeks. Medication will be initiated at 12.5mg/day and will be increased weekly as tolerated to a maximum dose of 50mg/day. Participants will be seen weekly and will be assessed for side effects, substance use since last visit, urine drug screen, breathalyzer readings, vital signs and symptoms of PTSD (TOP-8)at each visit. The Davidson Trauma Scale will be completed every two weeks, and the CAPS-2 and MADRS will be completed monthly. Those who complete the first 12 weeks of double-blind study medication will be eligible to receive open label medication for an additional 12 weeks. Medication will be initiated at 12.5mg and increased every 3 days as tolerated to the terminal dose in the double-blind phase, then adjusted as needed. Participants will come in for assessments every two weeks of the open-label phase. Blood will be drawn for blood chemistries and hematology at screening and weeks 12 and 24. Urine pregnancy tests will be performed for women of childbearing potential at baseline and again at weeks 4, 12 and 24.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double-Blind, Primary Purpose: Treatment




Paroxetine CR


Medical University of South Carolina
South Carolina
United States




Medical University of South Carolina

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:44:26-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A serotonin uptake inhibitor that is effective in the treatment of depression.

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