A study suggests that the pharmaceutical Prazosin, which is used to treat high blood pressure and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is more effective for people with high blood pressure, Good Therapy reports.
Anyone can develop PTSD after experiencing a trauma, but it is most commonly associated with veterans who served in combat. Other demographics that commonly develop PTSD include sexual assault victims, people who survive natural disasters, and people who were in car accidents.
Prazosin successfully helps many people manage their high blood pressure, PTSD symptoms, and anxiety. However, roughly a third of people who take the drug do not see an improvement in their symptoms.
Researchers investigated why this discrepancy occurs by studying 67 combat veterans who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan theatres over the course of 15 weeks. During the study, 32 participants took Prazosin and 35 took a placebo.
The study authors noted that the veterans who had higher systolic blood pressure prior to the study showed more relief in their symptoms. This is likely because Prazosin blocks receptors that reduce the effects of adrenaline and noradrenaline – two hormones that are released when the body is stressed.
Noradrenaline in particular increases blood pressure, thus suggesting that blood pressure could be a biomarker and help physicians better tailor PTSD treatment to the individual.