Aripiprazole Augmentation in the Treatment of Military-related PTSD with Major Depression: A Retrospective Chart Review
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BACKGROUND: In this chart review, we attempted to evaluate the benefits of adding aripiprazole in veterans with military-related PTSD and comorbid depression, who had been minimally or partially responsive to their existing medications.
METHODS: A retrospective chart review of patients who received an open-label, flexible-dose, 12- week course of adjunctive aripiprazole was conducted in 27 military veterans meeting DSM-IV criteria for PTSD and comorbid major depression. Concomitant psychiatric medications continued unchanged, except for other antipsychotics which were discontinued prior to initiating aripiprazole. The primary outcome variable was a change from baseline in the PTSD checklist-military version (PCL-M) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II).
RESULTS: PTSD severity (Total PCL scores) decreased from 56.11 at baseline to 46.85 at 12-weeks (p < 0.0001 from Wilcoxon signed rank test) and the depression severity decreased from 30.44 at baseline to 20.67 at 12-weeks (p < 0.0001 from Wilcoxon signed rank test). Thirty seven percent (10/27) were considered responders, as defined by a decrease in total PCL scores of at least 20 percent and 19% (5/27) were considered as responders as defined by a decrease in total BDI score of at least 50%.
CONCLUSIONS: The addition of aripiprazole contributed to a reduction in both PTSD and depression symptomatology in a population that has traditionally demonstrated poor pharmacological response. Further investigations, including double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, are essential to confirm and further demonstrate the benefit of aripiprazole augmentation in the treatment of military related PTSD.