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Table 1 Tentative assessment of potential drugs for primary PTSD prevention

From: Primary prevention of posttraumatic stress disorder: drugs and implications

Class of drugs Drugs (examples) Currently used in PTSD therapy Undesirable physical effects Undesirable mental side effects Potential effectiveness for primary PTSD prevention
Beta-blockers propranolol yes some no yes
Alpha-blockers prazosin yes some no unknown
Corticosteroids cortisol no no no contradictory evidence
Opiates morphine no yes yes yes, but strong performance impairment
Anesthetics ketamine no yes yes yes, but strong performance impairment
Antidepressants several sub-classes yes no some unknown
Sedatives benzodiazepines yes no yes probably none
Protein synthesis inhibitors anisomycin, cycloheximide no some no yes, based on animal models
NK3-antagonists osanetant no unknown unknown unknown
  1. Undesirable effects are usually dose dependent. In this table, typical therapeutic doses are the basis for the estimation of undesirable effects in healthy adults
  2. The assessment of the potential effectiveness for primary PTSD prevention is a tentative evaluation based on currently available data