Most common medications for PTSD
Increased awareness of the importance of mental health is helping us take care of our minds like we take care of our bodies.
While the most common mental health conditions tend to be depression and anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also affects about 12 million U.S. adults a year.
Using data from the Definitive Healthcare ClaimsMx and ClaimsRx products, this list reviews the most common medications prescribed for PTSD between January and November 2022. The PTSD ICD-10 diagnosis codes used for analysis include:
- F4310 post-traumatic stress disorder, unspecified
- F4311 post-traumatic stress disorder, acute
- F4312 post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic
Top medications prescribed for PTSD
|Rank||Drug name||Pharmacy class||Percent of PTSD prescriptions||Explore dataset|
|1||PRAZOSIN HCL||ALPHA BLOCKERS ALONE OR COMBINATIONS||16.7%||Explore|
|2||SERTRALINE HCL||SSRI (SEL. SEROTONIN REUPTAKE INHIBITOR)||6.7%||Explore|
|3||TRAZODONE HCL||NEWER GENERATION ANTI-DEPRESSANTS||5.2%||Explore|
|5||FLUOXETINE HCL||SSRI (SEL. SEROTONIN REUPTAKE INHIBITOR)||4.1%||Explore|
|6||QUETIAPINE FUMARATE||ANTIPSYCHOTICS, OTHERS||3.9%||Explore|
|7||ESCITALOPRAM OXALATE||SSRI (SEL. SEROTONIN REUPTAKE INHIBITOR)||3.7%||Explore|
|8||BUSPIRONE HCL||ANTIANXIETY, OTHERS||3.7%||Explore|
|10||DULOXETINE HCL||SNRI (SEROTONIN/NOREPI REUPTAKE INHIBIT)||3.0%||Explore|
|11||HYDROXYZINE HCL||ANTIANXIETY, OTHERS||3.0%||Explore|
|13||VENLAFAXINE HCL ER||SNRI (SEROTONIN/NOREPI REUPTAKE INHIBIT)||2.8%||Explore|
|14||CLONIDINE HCL||CENTRALLY ACTING AGENTS, ALONE OR COMBOS||2.4%||Explore|
|15||BUPROPION XL||NEWER GENERATION ANTI-DEPRESSANTS||2.3%||Explore|
|19||HYDROXYZINE PAMOATE||ANTIANXIETY, OTHERS||2.1%||Explore|
What is the most common drug prescribed for PTSD?
Prazosin is the most prescribed medication for patients with PTSD based on data in our Claims products. The drug is mostly used for high blood pressure but has also been shown to treat PTSD nightmares.
The next two medications on the list, sertraline and trazodone, are also some of the most commonly prescribed antidepressant medications. Both drugs help to increase serotonin levels in the brain.
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a condition seen in people who have either experienced or witnessed an emotionally or physically harmful or life-threatening event. It has commonly been associated with combat veterans but can affect any person after they go through events such as natural disasters, serious accidents, and assaults.
Patients with PTSD can have symptoms that include flashbacks, nightmares, disturbing thoughts, and feelings of fear, anger, and sadness.
How is PTSD treated?
PTSD treatment can include talk therapy with mental health specialists, group therapy, and medications. As seen in the table above, medications typically prescribed for depression and anxiety treat many symptoms of PTSD, including:
- Atypical antidepressants
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
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