• Amitriptyline hydrochloride was compared with placebo in 46 veterans with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder. Treatment continued up to 8 weeks, and efficacy was measured by five observer and two self-rated scales. Percent recovery rates were higher for amitriptyline than placebo on two measures. In patients who completed 4 weeks (n = 40), better outcome with amitriptyline was noted on the Hamilton depression scale only. In the group completing 8 weeks of treatment (n = 33), the drug was superior to placebo on Hamilton depression, Hamilton anxiety, Clinical Global Impression severity, and Impact of Event scales. There was no evidence for drug effects on the structured interview for posttraumatic stress disorder. Drug-placebo differences were greater in the presence of comorbidity in general, although recovery rates were uniformly low in the presence of major depression, panic disorder, and alcoholism. At the end of treatment, 64% of the amitriptyline and 72% of the placebo samples still met diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder.
Davidson J, Kudler H, Smith R, et al. Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder With Amitriptyline and Placebo. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990;47(3):259–266. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810150059010
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: