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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Pain medication use among patients with posttraumatic stress disorder

Ann C Schwartz, Rebekah Bradley, Kristin M Penza, Melissa Sexton, Daniel Jay, Patrick J Haggard, Steven J Garlow, Kerry J Ressler
Psychosomatics 2006, 47 (2): 136-42
16508025
The relationship of analgesic medication use with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis was investigated among a sample of 173 African Americans presenting for routine outpatient visits at an urban mental health center. Seventy-eight (43.5%) of the sample met DSM-IV PTSD criteria. Those with PTSD had significantly higher use of analgesic medication (both opiate and non-opiate), as compared with non-PTSD patients. PTSD symptoms, as measured by the Posttraumatic Symptom Scale, were significantly higher in subjects who were prescribed analgesics. The authors conclude that there may be a relationship between PTSD and use of pain medications warranting further examination of the endogenous opiate system in the pathophysiology of PTSD.

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