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PTSD And Prazosin

Discussion in 'Medications & Substances' started by Robert, Oct 21, 2010.

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  1. Robert

    Robert New Member

    Have been prescribed Prazosin for the last 2 and a half years to reduce the flashbacks but unfortunately due to a heart condition I can only have 2 doses of 4mgs twice a day so benefits are somewhat less than they could be. Am curious as to what others who have been prescribed Prazosin have experienced in the way of reduction in symptoms. My own experience is that yes I have benefited from them but only in a limited way due to the necessary underdosage. Other help has been of greater benefit but will keep that for another thread for the moment.

    Regards, Robert
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  3. parkwaytrash

    parkwaytrash New Member

    I was prescribed Prazosin when I was diagnosed with PTSD 10 months ago. I was given 1mg 3 times daily but did not notice any difference at all. Taking clonazepam and nortriptyline at night for sleep and topamax twice a day to help control headaches, I didn’t like the combination of the effects the medication was having on me. My Doctors assured me that there would not be any problems and I did searching on the internet for answers as well. But still never noticed any change with PTSD/nightmares.

    I did read that some were taking several more mgs per day than I was with a noticeable difference. I also read that a higher dosage was taken before bedtime. I just haven’t seen any change and hopefully my new Neurologist will get me on the right track with a correct dosage, because I have had enough of these nightmares and “day-mares”!!!
  4. Robert

    Robert New Member

    Daymares, now there is a word I have used myself often. When I was first prescribed Prazosin was given a lot of info to read on the clinical trials carried out in the US. Dosages varied from 9 mg to 15 mg per day given in 3 dosages as the effect is short lived, around 7 to 8 hours. Dosage dependant on body mass/metabolic rate. I can only take 2 doses of 4mg each as I have a heart condition for which I take a medication that conflicts with the Prazosin so only get 14 to 16 hours a day benefit. Still sometimes my BP drops so far I lose conciousness but on balance the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

    Regards, Robert
  5. parkwaytrash

    parkwaytrash New Member

    I'm glad that you understand the "daymare" term. And I completely understand the BP drops. Not fun at all!

    It makes for very difficult times to deal with medication conflicts on top of all the mental and emotional conflicts.
  6. Robert

    Robert New Member

    It was my use of the term 'daymare' that first put my psychiatrist on to the PTSD track. He picked up on that and elicited from me about tasting and sensing ie touch,smell and visualisation/sound. So that word is dear to me in a way in that it is the key that opened the door to recovery. Got one foot through so far, hopefully this site/members will help me get other foot through. I have no doubts of the benefits of Prazosin in my case. Hope your new Neurologist finds the right dose for you parkway and thanks for your understanding.

    Regards, Robert
  7. Happy Head

    Happy Head Well-Known Member

    I know I'm joining this discussion late, but I was just prescribed Prazosin this past week. I'm only taking it at bedtime. And, yes, I completely understand the term "daymare" too. Everything happened so fast this past week at the doc's that I'm not sure what the long term goals are for Prazosin (I.e. take it multiple times a day). How long did it take you guys to notice a difference? And at what dose?
  8. Unhinged

    Unhinged Active Member

    Hi Happy Head, I just got prescribed this today. I hope you are still a member here and am interested to know how it has been/was for you.
  9. gamereign555

    gamereign555 Rabid Wombat!

    I would like to know if any of you had any issues or experiences with Prazosin where taking it exacerbated breathing issues, either with nasal allergies, Anxiety breathing or lung capacity?
  10. gamereign555

    gamereign555 Rabid Wombat!

    I can tell that the doctors still don't know what to do with this medication. I have been prescribed this medication at up to 2mg only at bedtime as needed. I am quite confused by this. I noticed that when I don't take it I will wake up sweating after having a nightmare. So naturally I think I should be taking it every night. I do notice a difference even at this low dose though. I am just wondering why my doctor doesn't prescribe it for daily use so that I can benefit from it's effects during the day. Since I have decided on more than one occasion to not take the pill before bedtime because my anxiety was at a low level, both times I ended up having a nightmare and waking up with terrible anxiety that ruined my day. I don't understand the 'as needed' part of the directions.

    I am pleased with the drugs performance however and find it more useful than Temazepam (Restoril). Also by taking this over Restoril, you save the potency of the benzo effect for when you actually have to take the Xanax, Valium, ect.
    Unhinged likes this.
  11. Unhinged

    Unhinged Active Member

    It has definitely affected my breathing, with everything you mentioned. But as time has passed I think I have gotten more used to it.

    Have you noticed any nausea? If I get up at night, like to get a drink, I find myself nearly doubled over with uncontrollable nausea.

    My doctor has me on 5mg at bedtime, every day, and is thinking about increasing the dose since I still have trouble falling asleep. Maybe you should ask your doctor if you can take it every night. One thing about taking it everyday though is when I choose not to take it, the next day I tend to get a headache. I did notice that on days I don't take it I do have nightmares. So it is working, there is just a trade off with some other problems.

    I don't take the Ativan anymore, which was one of the main reasons to try this, and having the benzos out of my system is pretty nice. My husband says I have some personality again. Sometimes it may not be the best personality but it's better than the blob of not caring I have been for so long.
    gamereign555 likes this.
  12. gamereign555

    gamereign555 Rabid Wombat!

    I would like to take it during the day to see how I react but it's only prescribed for me at bedtime. Still I think I might try a small 2mg dose when I am anxious but am laying around the house with nothing to do later on just to see. If it makes me too tired feeling then it wouldn't be very practical I guess. The doctor mostly warned me not to take it and go wandering around outside or driving, so I will not be doing that.
  13. Unhinged

    Unhinged Active Member

    Doses around the clock seem like it could be a good idea. Most people seem to take it that way (that could just be the people with blood pressure issues). I am going to discuss doing that with my doctor if she decides to increase my dose. I think it could be great to help lessen the stress level during the day and maybe ease the side affects at night.

    "I don't understand the 'as needed' part of the directions."

    Might not be a bad idea to just give your doctor a quick call to ask what (s)he meant by the "as needed" and while you're on the phone just ask about taking it during the day. Just please be careful and don't double your dose in one day without talking to your doctor first. (Sorry, that's the Medic in me.)

    Please keep me posted, I'm interested to see how it works for you.
  14. KvE

    KvE Member

    I currently take 3 2mg of prazosin before I go to bed starting about 2 months ago. I have to take it right before I go to bed because if I walk around after I pass out. Even if its just to get up to go to the next room to go the bathroom. (which isn't very far.) I have passed out in the bathroom several times. The only thing it helps with for me is decreasing the nightmares.(which has helped a lot) I still will have them but not as many and not as often.

    During the day I am basically on my own. Day-mare is also how I would describe what I deal with during the day. It's horrible. Haven't spoken with doc yet about taking it during the day though. Didn't know that it was an option but something I will talk to him about because day time is horrible for me right now.
  15. gamereign555

    gamereign555 Rabid Wombat!

    My doctor didn't like the idea of me taking it during the day when I asked about it actually. 6mg seems like a lot you know KvE, 1mg is enough for a lot of people but I take a 2mg pill now though. Did you work up to that dose or is that what they first decided to put you on? Maybe they think your resting heart rate is a little higher than mine though. You should try taking a smaller dose, you can avoid the undesirable side effects if you cut down probably. For me even at 2mg pill it kicks in so fast that it does the trick getting me to sleep. I know I dream but never recall what the dreams are about.

    Being honest though it does help to take some Prazosin if you are home and not planning to do anything, preferably if somebody is around too. I think it helps with the angina from prolonged anxiety/palpitations, ect. Not quite as good as a Xanax or something but it is some relief, it tends to be more noticeable and calming as long as you are resting. As soon as you start moving around again the palpitations may return though. It seems to have an effect that helps your heart rate slow down while at rest so that is when it is most effective. I don't know why they do not think that I should take any of them during the day... I don't think there is a tolerance issue with them, but it is possible that they aren't very effective while you are actively moving around. I don't believe this drug has toxicity and it is gone from your body after 9 hours.
  16. KvE

    KvE Member

    I started with 2-4mg a night. Doc said to take 2mg wait an hour if still awake take another one. Then because of the nightmares getting really bad he upped it to 6mg at the same time. My resting blood pressure was very low before prazosin so I am suppose to take my blood pressure and record it for him. I don't have a blood pressure monitor though so I haven't been. I still get the palpitations even if I am laying completely still. I have a heart rate monitor on my phone and I know it isn't completely accurate but it jumps up to 160-ish which is why doc wanted blood pressure monitor. He said my heart rate increases when my blood pressure decreases. I also told him though that I won't stop taking it unless he can come up with something else that helps the nightmares. I can't keep reliving every traumatic event every night over and over again. Even the nightmares I still have now even with the prazosin are enough to drive me crazy but not as bad as they were before.
    gamereign555 likes this.
  17. gamereign555

    gamereign555 Rabid Wombat!

    Hmm perhaps there lies the problem. There are flashback like nightmares that are related to the trauma itself and then there are the 'ptsd nightmares' that are not so much related to the trauma. It could be that you need to lower your anxieties so that you can sleep better. It can be done with anti anxiety medication of course but you can also try to strive for the things in everyday life that boost your self esteem. The coping skills taught in therapy can also help us find meaning in our lives where everything seems chaotic. So reading, hobby related stuff, pushing yourself to do things when you would rather avoid out of fear, chores, a lax job and a schedule to go by along with a journal or diary, even keeping up with a planner.

    If there are missing chunks of time from the events of your trauma try something I did. Go through the events leading up or as far as you can go, if you can go all the way. I should warn you that this exercise will cause you anxiety. You must try to remember how you felt not just what you were doing as you go, the events written out in linear fashion, example ("I didn't want to face what was happening to me because" or "I felt that if I went to ask for help, it would mean that this really is health related and I could be facing death soon".) The idea is that you think about the events as they unfold while remembering anything you were feeling or thinking. As long as you go slow and think about it, you will begin to write down the missing moments, feelings and details. If it works right, you will be shocked to find that you are writing down memories that were displaced by your own emotions, hidden under a cloud of nervous system responses designed to keep you alive on the most basic and fundamental levels.

    It is of course very triggering but the release that is felt should be ... well it could very likely lead to a breakthrough. I couldn't say that it would be a guarantee to work but if you put the effort into it, I do not see why it wouldn't help. Afterwards you will probably feel both weak but also bold in your afterthoughts. It is a good idea to have somebody who understands you to talk to and get encouragement from and comfort soon after you have written down your story, felt it and then internalized it.

    You might have already told your story in therapy and been emotional about it even but it is not the same as writing it, because you have to really remember and feel the things that your own mind locked away. At some point, soon after or after some thought, can we understand what happened? I don't know but on some level, things will start to be 'filed' in your memories the way they should be, a Memory..yes a bad one and bad feelings that might challenge your fears. Fears that were faced though, and no longer a monster locked away within the dark recesses of your mind. We have to tell ourselves that we are okay now and understand in some way that we are still alive and can grow now after facing it in this way I guess.

    There are other dreams that are seemingly unrelated to our traumas and more an effect of having ptsd. Many of us have had cycles of insomnia followed by bizarre and very vivid dream like nightmares. They don't always scare us like we would expect. If you could imagine seeing grotesque wounds on yourself after falling off a cliff. The dreams are real enough that you are actually surprised that you are still alive yet there is never a lot of fear or emotion behind it, you just get up and walk away on your crippled limbs. In my case the dreams are seldom violent in any way but more twisted and morbid, involving accidents and witnessing things that should terrify due to its vividness but it doesn't for some reason. It does however effect you in your awakened state, anxiety might start to build as you wake up and remember the dream and can become and intrusive thought that gnaws at you for a few hours. These phases can last months or weeks and come back again as your sleep habits change. One thing most of us that have experienced this that I talk to; "Prazosin is the only thing that keeps these dreams from happening".

    I honestly don't know how effective the Prazosin is for nightmares related to the trauma, it could be that the trauma hasn't been dealt with in your mind as well as it should be yet. I do know that the drug works by blocking signals that pump adrenaline into your body or something to that effect. If the trauma still poisons you so, I don't think that the Prazosin is going to be your answer. It is just like you said, "I am still having these nightmares even while on Prazosin". Granted, it probably is helping a little by blocking the adrenaline but I just think that it wouldn't prevent the memories from surfacing in your sleep. It does however have a profound effect on these unexplained ptsd nightmares that make no sense and seem to be centered around nothing. I hope doctors don't think that this is some kind of miracle drug they can just give to anybody who has ptsd as some sort of miracle treatment, we all still need therapy and need to make the steps to unravel the issues that made us the way we are.
  18. Gyro

    Gyro New Member

    I've been taking 5mg per day at bed time. It doesnt stop the boogieman from coming ... but it does make it easier to go back to sleep after the boogieman has been and gone.
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