Prazosin for PTSD
How It Works
Prazosin blocks some of the effects of adrenaline released in your body. This may help reduce the nightmares and sleep problems you have with PTSD.
Why It Is Used
By keeping you from having nightmares, prazosin may help you get better sleep. With better sleep, you can feel healthier and more alert. This may help lower your stress and help you feel more in control of your life.
How Well It Works
Research shows that prazosin may help reduce nightmares, one of the symptoms of PTSD.1 More research is needed to confirm its effectiveness for treating PTSD.
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call your doctor if you have:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Since prazosin is more commonly used for high blood pressure, your doctor may want to look into its benefits for PTSD.
Prazosin may help reduce your nightmares, but it is not a cure for PTSD. Nightmares and anxiety may come back if you stop taking your medicine.
Prazosin lowers blood pressure (hypotension), which can make you feel dizzy. This usually stops when your body is used to prazosin. Be careful not to stand up too fast, especially if your dose has just been changed.
Erection drugs like Viagra also can lower your blood pressure. If you're taking erection drugs along with prazosin, your blood pressure may drop very fast. Tell your doctor if you're taking drugs for erection problems.
Prazosin can be taken safely with other PTSD medicines, such as antidepressants, but not with trazodone. Taking prazosin with trazodone can cause the rare side effect of priapism. This is an erection that doesn't go away, which can cause serious health problems.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Advice for women
Women who use this medicine during pregnancy have a slightly higher chance of having a baby with birth defects. If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, you and your doctor must weigh the risks of using this medicine against the risks of not treating your condition.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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