Morphine may help to prevent PTSD in combat injured military personnel

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According to findings published in the January 14th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the use of morphine may actually help to prevent posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) developments in combat injured military personnel. According to Lisa Holbrook, PhD, of the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, and colleagues, “our findings suggest that the use of morphine after serious injury may be a first-line defense against the development of PTSD… the logical conclusion to be made on the basis of these data is that a reduction in perceived pain levels through the use of morphine or other opiates as part of trauma care may lower the rate of PTSD onset after major trauma.” Previous studies had found that the use of pharmacology served as a good secondary prevention of PTSD; it interfered with fear response and the consolidation of memory associated with trauma. Click here to read a blog from NPR that discusses these findings more.

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