Prazosin in Children and Adolescents With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Who Have Nightmares: A Systematic Review

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Abstract

Background

The aim of this systematic review was to identify published articles that evaluated the use of prazosin for treating nightmares in children and adolescents who have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Procedures

A literature search was conducted of PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Collaboration, and PsycINFO databases for published articles in any language that evaluated the use of prazosin for treating nightmares in the context of PTSD in children and adolescents using the following key words: PTSD, nightmares, prazosin, children, adolescents, trauma, and sleep.

Results

A total of 9 published articles related to the use of prazosin for treatment of nightmares in PTSD in children and adolescents were identified. Six of the 9 articles that met our inclusion criteria were case reports. All of these 6 case reports showed marked improvement in nightmares when prazosin was used, although at a generally lower dose when compared with its use in adults, with dosing ranging from 1 to 4 mg/d.

Conclusions

Prazosin has shown promising outcomes in treating nightmares associated with PTSD in children and adolescents, although this has not been well studied. Future placebo-controlled trials are needed to assess the efficacy and safety of prazosin in treating PTSD-related nightmares in children and adolescents.

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