The Art of Prescribing: Pharmacologic Management of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

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Abstract

There are growing concerns about the acute and long-term effects on the mental and physical health of individuals exposed to violence and traumatic events such as the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the train bombings in Spain in 2004, and wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East, and natural disasters, such as the 2006 earthquake in Indonesia and hurricane Katrina in 2005. Collectively, these events and global turmoil will increase the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the next decade. The growing prevalence of trauma and potential acute and chronic responses challenges psychiatric nurses to understand neurobiological underpinnings of PTSD and develop and implement evidence-based interventions—both pharmacotherapy and psychotherapeutic interventions to facilitate early resolution, reduce morbidity and health utilization, and optimize treatment options.

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