The US Army plans to test various pharmaceutical options on hundreds of veterans and service members at multiple sites across America. Army Major Gary Wynn of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research recently told the Navy Times newspaper that the research project would be launched next year. It is anticipated that this real-life evaluation will allow study leaders to evaluate the wisdom of clinical practice that has evolved in the area of PTSD over the past decade and more.
Only GlaxoSmithKline’s Seroxat, Pfizer’s Lustral and a number of generics are approved for treatment of PTSD in the US, where they are marketed under different brand names. However, because they have not always resolved cases clinically, psychiatrists have also been co-prescribing antipsychotics including Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal and AstraZeneca’s Seroquel on the basis that these drugs can increase the antidepressant response.
There is a need for such an evaluation. The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported separately that whilst antidepressant use in military personnel diagnosed with PTSD had changed little between 2002 and 2009, prescription rates for atypical antipsychotics increased by 10 times during the same timeframe. The paper published an internal Department of Defence memo which said AstraZeneca's Seroquel was prescribed to 1.4% of the Army and 0.7% of the Marines in the 2010 financial year. Major Wynn added: “For pharmaceuticals that show benefits in treating combat-related PTSD, the Department of Defense may work toward a new indication or change in labelling.”
The Navy Times
The Philadelphia Inquirer