Veterans’ PTSD Symptoms Not Helped By Risperdal

Risperdal has been the second-most often prescribed “second-generation antipsychotic” in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities to treat symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But being widely prescribed is no indication as to the effectiveness of the medication. In this case, it is no indicator at all as a recent study found Risperdal ineffective in treating PTSD symptoms among veterans. This may prove to be an important issue in cases concerning veterans’ compensation.

The study lasted 6 months and covered outpatient medical centers at 23 VA facilities. Researchers tested 367 veterans and diagnosed 296 with “military-related PTSD.” Those diagnosed had reoccurring symptoms even though they were currently taking at least two “adequate antidepressant treatments,” which included selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Researchers gave patients either 4 mg of Risperdal or a placebo coupled with therapy. PTSD symptoms, which included depression and anxiety, were then measured on a mixture of scales. Final analysis of the data revealed “no significant difference” in the reduction of PTSD symptoms between the two groups after treatment lasting 6 months.

Although VA doctors routinely prescribe antidepressants to treat PTSD symptoms, the FDA has not approved any PTSD treatment regimen including psychiatric medication. According to the VA, almost 90% of all veterans diagnosed with PTSD and using pharmacotherapy to manage their symptoms are given SSRIs, which are the most regularly prescribed antidepressants.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from Veterans Help Group is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today 1-855-855-8992.