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Effect of Propranolol on Preventing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

This study has been completed.
Sponsor:
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT00158262
First Posted: September 12, 2005
Last Update Posted: April 10, 2017
The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
Collaborator:
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Roger K. Pitman, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital
  Purpose
This study will assess the effectiveness of taking propranolol soon after a traumatizing incident in reducing the incidence and severity of posttraumatic stress disorder in acutely traumatized individuals.

Condition Intervention Phase
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Drug: Propranolol Drug: Placebo Phase 4

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Prophylaxis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder With Post-Trauma Propranolol

Resource links provided by NLM:


Further study details as provided by Roger K. Pitman, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Physiological Posterior Probability of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as Determined From Psychophysiologic Responses During Script-Driven Mental Imagery at Month 1 [ Time Frame: Month 1 ]
    The posterior probability of developing PTSD was determined for each participant from a composite of psychophysiological responses during script-driven mental imagery of traumatic events (two exemplars) that included assessments of heart rate response in beats per minute, skin conductance response in microSiemens, and corrugator and left lateral frontalis facial muscle electromyogram (EMG) responses in microVolts. Responses for the two traumatic scripts were averaged and square-root transformed for analysis. Responses during personal traumatic imagery of previously studied individuals with and without current PTSD were used to calculate each participant's posterior probability of being classified as PTSD.

  • Physiological Posterior Probability of PTSD as Determined From Psychophysiologic Responses During Script-Driven Mental Imagery at Month 3 [ Time Frame: Month 3 ]
    The posterior probability of developing PTSD was determined for each participant from a composite of psychophysiological responses during script-driven mental imagery of traumatic events (two exemplars) that included assessments of heart rate response in beats per minute, skin conductance response in microSiemens, and corrugator and left lateral frontalis facial muscle electromyogram (EMG) responses in microVolts. Responses for the two traumatic scripts were averaged and square-root transformed for analysis. Responses during personal traumatic imagery of previously studied individuals with and without current PTSD were used to calculate each participant's posterior probability of being classified as PTSD.


Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) Total Score [ Time Frame: Months 1 and 3 ]
    The clinician evaluated the overall frequency and intensity/severity of the participant's PTSD symptoms using the CAPS. 17 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) PTSD symptoms were assessed using a 5-point scale for intensity where 0=none to 4=extreme and a 5-point scale for frequency where 0=never to 4=most or all of the time. The intensity score and the frequency scores were added together for a total possible score of 0 (best) to 136 (worst).


Enrollment: 43
Actual Study Start Date: September 2004
Study Completion Date: May 2008
Primary Completion Date: May 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Propranolol
Following the occurrence of an acute psychologically traumatic event, an initial dose of short-acting propranolol 40 mg orally then one hour later, long-acting propranolol 60 mg capsule orally on Day 1 followed by a 19-day course of long-acting propranolol starting with 120 mg every morning and evening for 10 days, and then tapering to 120 mg in the morning and 60 mg in the evening for 3 days, then 60 mg in the morning and 60 mg the evening for 3 days, then 60 mg in the morning for 3 days.
Drug: Propranolol
Propranolol short-acting or long-acting capsule
Other Name: Inderal
Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Following the occurrence of an acute psychologically traumatic event, an initial dose of placebo-matching short-acting propranolol 40 mg orally then one hour later, placebo-matching long-acting propranolol 60 mg capsule orally on Day 1 followed by a 19-day course of placebo-matching long-acting propranolol starting with 120 mg every morning and evening for 10 days, and then tapering to 120 mg in the morning and 60 mg in the evening for 3 days, then 60 mg in the morning and 60 mg the evening for 3 days, then 60 mg in the morning for 3 days.
Drug: Placebo
Placebo-matching propranolol short-acting or long-acting capsule

Detailed Description:

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following exposure to a traumatic event in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. PTSD is marked by clear biological changes as well as psychological symptoms. Many people with PTSD repeatedly relive the trauma in the form of flashback episodes, memories, nightmares, or frightening thoughts. This study will assess the effect of post-trauma propranolol on reducing the incidence and severity of PTSD. The study will also evaluate propranolol's effectiveness as a preventive measure against subsequent PTSD symptoms.

Participants in this double-blind study will be recruited upon admission to the Massachusetts General Hospital Emergency Department after exposure to a psychologically traumatic event. Baseline psychometric and psychobiologic measurements will be collected. Within 6 hours following the traumatic event, participants will be randomly assigned to receive either 40 mg of short-acting propranolol or placebo and 60 mg of either long-acting propranolol or placebo. For the next 10 days, participants will receive 120 mg of either long-acting propranolol or placebo twice daily. A 9-day medication tapering will follow. Participants will undergo psychophysiologic, psychodiagnostic, and psychometric testing for PTSD 1 and 3 months following the traumatic event.

  Eligibility

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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, Learn About Clinical Studies.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 55 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Experienced an acute psychological traumatic event
  • Heart rate of 80 beats per minute (bpm) or greater
  • Understands English

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Traumatic event that occurred more than four hours before arrival to emergency department
  • Physical injury that may affect safe participation (e.g., head injury)
  • Systolic blood pressure less than 100 mm Hg
  • Medical or surgical condition that poses a risk of shock
  • Medical condition that may affect the safe administration of propranolol
  • Previous adverse reaction to, or non-compliance with, a beta-blocker
  • Current use of medication that may react badly with propranolol
  • Elevated saliva alcohol level
  • Presence of salivary opiates, marijuana, cocaine, or amphetamines
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Traumatic event reflecting ongoing victimization
  • Psychiatric condition that may affect safe participation
  • Unwilling or unable to commute to Boston for research visits
  • Attending physician in emergency department does not advise participation
  Contacts and Locations
Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00158262


Locations
United States, Massachusetts
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02114
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02115
Sponsors and Collaborators
Massachusetts General Hospital
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Roger K. Pitman, MD Massachusetts General Hospital
  More Information

Publications:
Responsible Party: Roger K. Pitman, MD, Principal Investigator, Massachusetts General Hospital
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00158262     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R01MH068603 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Submitted: September 7, 2005
First Posted: September 12, 2005
Results First Submitted: May 7, 2013
Results First Posted: April 10, 2017
Last Update Posted: April 10, 2017
Last Verified: April 2017

Keywords provided by Roger K. Pitman, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Prevention
Propranolol
Psychophysiology

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Disease
Stress Disorders, Traumatic
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders
Mental Disorders
Pathologic Processes
Propranolol
Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
Adrenergic Antagonists
Adrenergic Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
Antihypertensive Agents
Vasodilator Agents


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