New study examines the use of anticholinergic drug trihexyphenidyl for PTSD symptoms

A new study in Brain and Behavior provides a first glimpse at a potentially effective anticholinergic drug known as trihexyphenidyl (TP) for the treatment of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

According to researchers with the Sogo PTSD Institute and the Medical Corporation Sogokai, trihexyphenidyl may be effective for reducing PTSD-related flashbacks and nightmares.

As part of the study, 34 patients diagnosed with PTSD were administered the anticholinergic drug, with the vast majority, or 88 percent of patients have experienced mild to no PTSD-based nightmares; while 79 percent experienced similar responses for flashbacks.

The anticholinergic effects reported had a rapid onset, with purported improvements in mild symptoms of nightmares and flashbacks associated with PTSD.

“This study is the first to demonstrate the potential efficacy of TP in the treatment of refractory PTSD-related nightmares and flashbacks,” the co-authors detailed in their journal report.

“Further double-blind, randomized control trials are needed to explore the potential clinical benefits of TP in PTSD.”

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