Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Can lowering your blood pressure reduce your nightmares?

Many people with PTSD suffer from nightmares. In fact, it's one of the most common effects of PTSD.

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.

Click through the link above to read more.

1 comment:

  1. I am a combat vet and do not have high blood pressure. I take Prazosin for chronic PTSD, it is a miracle drug and I sleep better than I have in 18 years. I have major symptom relief and

    They do not know why the medicine works, only that it does relieve major symptoms of Combat PTSD. The medicine works the day you take it!

    I have been in treatment for PTSD for the last 6 years and on and off for 19 years and was never offered this drug. I read about it on the internet and told my doctor at the VA I wanted to start taking it.

    I think we should raise an additional question.

    Why is this inexpensive and relatively safe drug not, a first line of defense used to treat Combat PTSD?