A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Augmentation Topiramate for Chronic Combat-Related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

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Abstract

Background:

Topiramate, a novel anticonvulsant, has been reported to rapidly reduce symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in an open-label trial. The present study was designed as a test of topiramate's efficacy as adjunctive therapy in a 7-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Methods:

Forty male veterans with PTSD in a residential treatment program were randomized to flexible-dose topiramate or placebo augmentation. The primary outcome measures were PTSD symptom severity and global symptom improvement.

Results:

Baseline Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale scores were 62.1 ± 13.9 for placebo and 61.0 ± 22.2 for topiramate. There was a high dropout rate from the study (55% topiramate; 25% placebo), with 40% of topiramate and 10% of placebo dropping because of adverse events (AEs). No significant treatment effects of topiramate versus placebo were observed for the primary treatment outcomes. Subjects reporting central nervous system-related AEs and with higher baseline severity of depression were more likely to discontinue because of AEs.

Conclusions:

Primary outcome measures failed to demonstrate a significant effect for topiramate over placebo; however, high dropout rate in the treatment group prohibits definitive conclusions about the efficacy of topiramate in this population.

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