Quetiapine treatment in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder: an open trial of adjunctive therapy

J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2003 Feb;23(1):15-20. doi: 10.1097/00004714-200302000-00003.


In this 6-week, open-label trial, combat veterans meeting DSM-IV criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were treated with the atypical antipsychotic quetiapine. The starting dose was 25 mg at bedtime with subsequent titration based on tolerability and clinical response. Primary outcome was measured using the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS). Secondary assessments of efficacy included the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS), the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, and the Clinical Global Impression Scale. Safety and tolerability evaluations included neurologic ratings, vital signs, and assessment of treatment-emergent side effects. Eighteen of 20 patients enrolled in the study completed 6 weeks of open-label treatment. The dose range of quetiapine was 25 to 300 mg daily, with an average of 100+/-70 mg/d. There was significant improvement in CAPS scores, from 89.8+/-15.7 to 67.5+/-21.0 (t=4.863, df=18, <0.005), and composite PANSS ratings from baseline to endpoint. General psychopathology (PANSS) and depressive symptoms (HRSD) were also reduced at the 6-week end point. There were no serious adverse events and no clinically significant changes in vital signs or neurologic ratings. This preliminary open trial suggests that quetiapine is well tolerated and may have efficacy in reducing PTSD symptoms in patients who have not had an adequate response other medications. Studies utilizing a randomized, controlled trial design and larger sample sizes are needed to better define the potential role of quetiapine and other atypical antipsychotics in the treatment of PTSD.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Dibenzothiazepines / adverse effects
  • Dibenzothiazepines / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quetiapine Fumarate
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / complications
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / drug therapy*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Veterans


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Dibenzothiazepines
  • Quetiapine Fumarate