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Divalproex Sodium in the Treatment of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
VA Office of Research and Development Identifier:
First received: April 15, 2005
Last updated: October 20, 2015
Last verified: October 2015

The purposes of this study are:

  • To study the efficacy of divalproex in the treatment of PTSD;
  • To study the plasma GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) levels before and after treatment with divalproex in PTSD.

Condition Intervention Phase
PTSD Drug: Divalproex Other: placebo Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Divalproex Sodium in the Treatment of PTSD: A Placebo-Controlled Study

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by VA Office of Research and Development:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) [ Time Frame: 8weeks ]

Enrollment: 101
Study Start Date: October 2003
Study Completion Date: September 2005
Primary Completion Date: August 2005 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Placebo Comparator: Arm 1
Look-a-like placebo
Other: placebo
Look-a-like placebo
Experimental: Arm 2
Drug: Divalproex
anticonvulsant; mood stabilizer

Detailed Description:

Objective: To study the efficacy of divalproex in the treatment of PTSD. Research Design: This is an 8-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled treatment trial of divalproex.

Methodology: After signing an informed consent and meeting all inclusion/exclusion criteria, the patient is randomized to either divalproex or placebo for an 8-week duration. During the study a pharmacist maintains the randomization log and administers the placebo or divalproex (500 mg/capsule) in look-a-like tablets. Patients' symptoms, side effects and compliance are assessed bi-weekly. Based on symptomology and occurrence of side effects, the investigator increases the medication in 500 mg (one tablet) increments every four days, as tolerated, until a maximum therapeutic benefit is achieved, not to exceed 3000 mg/day (6 capsules). The dosing is twice daily, with the higher dose at bedtime. Compliance is assessed by bi-weekly pill count and blinded valproic acid levels at week 4 and week 8. Patients are given supportive clinical management during the clinic visits. An investigator is available by telephone 24 hrs a day in case of emergency. Patients may be seen more often if needed. Efficacy will be measured by the following assessment scales: MADRS (Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale), Ham-A (Hamilton Anxiety Scale), CGI-s (Clinical Global Impressions-Severity of Illness Scale), CGI-I (Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement Scale), GAF (Global Assessment of Functioning), CAPS (Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale), TOP-8 (Treatment Outcome PTSD Rating Scale), and DTS (Davidson Trauma Scale). Results of this study will be used to evaluate the efficacy of divalproex in the treatment of PTSD.

Significance: Divalproex has shown promise in treating PTSD in open label trials. This study is the next step in proving divalproex's efficacy in the treatment of PTSD.


Ages Eligible for Study:   19 Years to 65 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosis of PTSD, confirmed by MINI (Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview) and CAPS
  • Age 19 or older
  • No substance abuse/dependence for the previous 6 weeks (except for nicotine and caffeine)
  • Free of psychotropic medication for 2 weeks (except 6 weeks for fluoxetine)
  • Clinically normal physical and laboratory examination (lab profile listed below). LFTs (liver function tests) up to 2.5 times the normal limit will be allowed.
  • Women of childbearing potential must be using medically approved methods of birth control (such as a condom, birth control pill, Depo-Provera, or diaphragm with spermicides)
  • Signed informed consent
  • Male or female of any race or ethnic origin

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Lifetime history of bipolar I, psychotic, or cognitive disorders
  • Actively suicidal, homicidal, or psychotic
  • History of sensitivity to divalproex
  • Unstable general medical conditions
  • Score 6 on Question #10 of MADRS
  • Women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or to breastfeed during the study
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00108576

United States, Alabama
Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center, Tuscaloosa, AL
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States, 35404
Sponsors and Collaborators
VA Office of Research and Development
Principal Investigator: Lori Lynne Davis, MD AB Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center, Tuscaloosa, AL
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: VA Office of Research and Development Identifier: NCT00108576     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: MHBS-026-01
Study First Received: April 15, 2005
Last Updated: October 20, 2015

Keywords provided by VA Office of Research and Development:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Valproic Acid
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
GABA Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Antimanic Agents
Tranquilizing Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Psychotropic Drugs processed this record on August 22, 2017