Tag Archives: prazosin

I’m okay now

11 Mar

I’m doing okay now.  Really good actually, the best I’ve ever done in my life.  But since the majority of my life I have not done well I always have this feeling that something bad is going to happen or some kind of dread.  Right now it’s a fear/curiosity and those two often don’t go well together.

One of my official diagnoses is PTSD, and I take Prazosin for night terrors.  I’ve started going to a support group in anticipation of leading one in a few weeks and a member was talking about blacking out and night terrors and PTSD related things.  I asked her if she’d tried Prazosin and there was a short conversation.  But it reminds me of how I can relate to so many people.  It reminds me of blacking out and forgetting things I have done.  It reminds me of the dissociating.  And with my PTSD, I’m not completely aware what the trauma is.

In my experience things that aren’t solved always come back

Post Psychiatrist Appt Update

10 Jun

I just saw my psychiatrist, he increased the Prazosin and gave me a prn for Valium.  He would prefer a higher dose of the Prazosin than using Valium.  I guess the Prazosin is suppose to help with sleep and the restlessness/constant moving about I have.  I tried to look up Prazosin again as I only looked it up once when he first prescribed it and I was having the night terrors.  I wanted to see it’s effect on anxiety but most the articles are about PTSD and nightmares.  If anyone has any experience or knows any articles/sites about Prazosin for anxiety I would greatly appreciate it.

The Valium is for when I get to the point of no return when I think I will self harm, I hope I just don’t get too lazy and start popping pills at the first sign of discomfort.  I was really nervous about mentioning the Valium because I know my psychiatrist wants me to handle things beviorally if I can, which so do I.  I think it might just provide some relief knowing I have it and I can take it; rather than being sneaky and feeling like it’s disapproved of.

Prazosin and PTSD

14 Apr

At my last appointment with my psychiatrist he talked about trying a new medication called Prazosin which is a blood pressure medication.  The medication is an alpha-blocker which pretty much means it blocks adrenaline.  Recently, doctors and researchers have noticed that it helps treat symptoms of PTSD.  It it especially helpful with the physical symptoms by blocking the over release of adrenaline that is common in PTSD and anxiety disorders.  He told me to look it up and then let him know what I think.  Just to note I don’t believe I have ever had a formal diagnosis of PTSD though I have a history of trauma and an assortment of trauma-related and anxiety-related symptoms.  My pulse tends to run high, I can’t seem to sit still, I get the trouble breathing stuff, I’ve passed out before due to anxiety, and more recently the night terrors.  He said when I researched it online I may not find much information about it being used to treat PTSD, oddly though the 3rd link from a Google search was about the medication and PTSD.  The only issue I may have is that my blood pressure tends to fall in the normal-low range and the medication could lower my blood pressure to much causing fainting and light-headness in which case I wouldn’t be able to continue on it.  I started the medication Thursday night and haven’t noticed anything related to the night terrors although I am definitely more at ease during the day.  Yesterday I was even able to lay down on the bed for about 20 minutes without getting all anxious and worked out.

Here is some info from the websites with the links at the bottom:

 

A majority of PTSD sufferers—70 percent to almost 90 percent—develop sleep disturbances because they relive traumatic experiences in their thoughts and dreams. People with the condition can have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, and are often disturbed by nightmares. They might try to avoid people, places, or situations that remind them of their traumatic experiences, and feel distant from friends and family.

The main nondrug treatments recommended by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for PTSD are talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. Two medications are also approved to treat PTSD, the antidepressants sertraline (Zoloft and generic) and paroxetine (Paxil and generic). They are effective in controlling symptoms but they usually don’t improve the sleep problems that can accompany PTSD.

Prazosin (Minipress and generic), a drug that was developed to treat high blood pressure, has been found to be useful in managing sleep-related problems caused by PTSD. It works by blocking certain alpha-1 receptors in the brain, which might lead to better, deeper sleep.

Prazosin is prescribed “off label” to treat the severe nightmares and other sleep disturbances related to PTSD, meaning that it has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for that use. But doctors can legally prescribe any treatment they deem appropriate for a patient’s condition. Both the American Psychiatric Association and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs say that prazosin has been effective in helping combat veterans who have nightmares.

Prazosin is the most thoroughly studied drug in regard to PTSD and sleep among the class of medications known as alpha-1 blockers. In addition to preventing nightmares and insomnia, it can help improve overall symptoms, such as flashbacks, startle response, and irritability or anger, and it can be taken with an antidepressant.

What is the evidence for this off-label use?

A number of trials have studied prazosin’s effect on sleep disturbances caused by PTSD. Recent analysis of those studies by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists found that the drug helps patients sleep longer and have fewer nightmares and awakenings. It also lessens the severity of other symptoms of PTSD, such as re-experiencing a traumatic event, avoiding certain experiences, or feeling hyper-aroused by them. Most of the clinical studies of prazosin have focused on male combat veterans. Doctors also prescribe it for female veterans and people with PTSD not related to combat, but more research is needed to determine if it’s as effective for them

Many experts say there should be more extensive research on prazosin, especially to determine how well it works for other patients, especially women and people with PTSD that’s not related to combat. Such research could also better establish optimal dosages, how frequently a patient should take the medication, and for how long.

Link to full site

 

How It Works

If you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), your body may release too much adrenaline. Adrenaline is a hormone that can make you feel stressed and havenightmares.

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.

link