One of the other common side effects of PTSD is high blood pressure, caused in part by the body's constant state of stress and production of adrenalin. Nightmares and sleeplessness don't help, and can make your blood pressure even higher.
But can tackling high blood pressure first help reduce the amount of nightmares you have, and in turn further help lower your blood pressure?
According to this new article at the Huffington Post -- Nightmares In PTSD: Don't Get Your Blood Pressure Up -- the answer could be yes.
The high blood pressure medicine, prazosin, dampens adrenalin's effect on the heart and blood vessels by blocking receptors for the hormone. This old medicine has become the newest approach to treating PTSD. Studies are still underway, but the data thus far show that 75 to 8- percent of PTSD patients who try prazosin stop having nightmares and sleep through the night with normal dreams.
The article is based on research published last year in the journal Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry.
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