Pharmacotherapy regimens among patients with posttraumatic stress disorder and mild traumatic brain injury

Psychiatr Serv. 2012 Feb 1;63(2):182-5. doi: 10.1176/


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine if veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) are treated differently pharmacologically than patients with PTSD alone.

Methods: A retrospective evaluation of PTSD pharmacotherapy of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans with PTSD (N=707) was conducted between April 1, 2007, and March 31, 2009. A total of 45 veterans had suffered a mild TBI.

Results: Compared with the patients with PTSD alone, the patients with PTSD and TBI were more likely to be prescribed an antidepressant (p<.001), a sedative-hypnotic (p<.001), or an antipsychotic (p=.024). The patients with TBI were also significantly more likely to receive psychotropic polypharmacy (p=.001) and to receive higher doses of psychiatric medications (p=.03).

Conclusions: The differences in drug therapy found in this study may indicate that patients with TBI and PTSD respond differently to treatment than patients with PTSD alone.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Afghan Campaign 2001-
  • Antipsychotic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brain Injuries / drug therapy*
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Iraq War, 2003-2011
  • Male
  • Polypharmacy
  • Psychotropic Drugs / administration & dosage
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / drug therapy*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Tranquilizing Agents / administration & dosage
  • Tranquilizing Agents / therapeutic use
  • Veterans / statistics & numerical data


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Psychotropic Drugs
  • Tranquilizing Agents