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The results from both animal studies, and people with
PTSD have been promising. In rats that underwent fear
conditioning (presentation of a sound followed by a mild
foot shock), then extinction training immediately after
(presentation of a sound alone); extinction learning was
poor due to the recent trauma and stressful experience of
the foot shock. Conversely, in rats that were administered
propranolol prior to extinction training had more
success. Similarly, many studies of people with PTSD
have incorporated propranolol of varying regimens into
the process of re-activating and re-storing memories
of traumatic experiences, and measured physiological
responses and also objective and subjective recurrence
of symptoms. In a randomized double-blinded trial,
participants (n=19) were asked to describe the event that
caused their PTSD.
After recalling the event, they received 40 mg short-
acting propranolol initially, followed by 60 mg long-acting
propranolol two hours later. One week later, participants
were asked to recall their traumatic event again, and
physiologic responses (heart rate, skin conductance,
facial frowning) was significantly lower in people who
received propranolol compared to the placebo (p = 0.007).
Interestingly, similar results were also noted in patients
in another study who received ecstasy (triggers positive
feelings) while undergoing talking therapy, and PTSD
symptoms were resolved in 83% of patients in the ecstasy
group compared to 25% in the placebo.
The results from studies with PTSD have been promising,
and follow-up studies in more people for longer periods
of time are warranted to investigate how and when
propranolol (and perhaps ecstasy) might fit into the
management of PTSD. Nevertheless, this relatively cheap
and readily assessable drug has the potential to provide
enormous benefit to people living with PTSD.
Propanolol dosing information
Condition Dosing range (adult)
Propanolol 20 mg – 320 mg daily
Various regimens, ranging from 100 mg to 240
Propanolol does not have an indication for this condition – dose provided is
1. Brunet A, Orr SP, Tremblay J, Robertson K, Nader K, Pitman RK. Effect of post-retrieval
propranolol on psychophysiologic responding during subsequent script-driven traumatic
imagery in post-traumatic stress disorder. J Psychiatr Res. 2008;42(6):503–6 .
2. Fitzgerald PJ, Giustino TF, Seemann JR, Maren S. Noradrenergic blockade stabilizes
prefrontal activity and enables fear extinction under stress. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.
3. Vaiva G, Ducrocq F, Jezequel K, Averland B, Lestavel P, Brunet A, Marmar CR. Immediate
treatment with propranolol decreases posttraumatic stress disorder two months after
trauma. Biol Psychiatry. 2003;54(9):947–9 .
4. McGhee LL, Maani CV, Garza TH, Desocio PA, Gaylord KM, Black IH. The effect of
propranolol on posttraumatic stress disorder in burned service members. J Burn Care Res.
5. M. Mithoefer. Can ecstasy treat the agony of PTSD? Eur Psychiatry. 2016;33:S10.
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Minimum Product Information: Chlorsig (chloramphenicol) eye drops (0.5%) and ointment
(1%) Indications: For the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis. Other superficial ocular infections
caused by chloramphenicol-sensitive organisms under medical supervision only. Contraindications:
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