Trial of Hydrocortisone for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Information source: University of California, San Diego
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.
Condition(s) targeted: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Intervention: Hydrocortisone (Drug); Placebo (Drug)
Phase: Phase 4
Sponsored by: University of California, San Diego
Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Murray B Stein, MD, MPH, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: University of California, San Diego
Developing novel and effective pharmacologic interventions for this post-traumatic stress
disorder is important. The investigators propose to replicate findings of an earlier
published pilot study using low dose hydrocortisone as a treatment for PTSD. In order to do
so in a more meaningful way, the investigators will conduct a larger but similar randomized
double-blind placebo-controlled, cross-over design treatment study examining the use of low
dose hydrocortisone (or placebo) for 4 weeks in combat veterans suffering from PTSD.
The investigators hypothesize that, as described by Aerni et al. (2004), administration of
daily hydrocortisone will lead to a reduction in PTSD symptom severity, but particularly for
re-experiencing types (e. g., flashbacks, nightmares)of symptoms. The investigators also hope
to examine potential predictors and moderators of treatment response based on subjects'
clinical characteristics, as well as serum cortisol and ACTH levels.
Official title: A Randomized Double-blind Placebo-controlled Cross-over Trial of Hydrocortisone for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator), Primary Purpose: Treatment
Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS)
Clinical Global Impressions - Improvement (CGI-I)
Sheehan Disability Inventory (SDI)
Brief Symptom Inventory - 18 item (BSI-18)
Minimum age: 18 Years.
Maximum age: 65 Years.
- Male military veterans
- Between the ages of 18-65 years old
- Generally good medical health with no clinically significant abnormalities on
physical examination, electrocardiogram, or laboratory findings
- Ability to provide informed consent and comply with requirements of study protocol
- No specific contraindications to hydrocortisone
- Clinically predominant DSM-IV diagnosis of PTSD
- Score of ≥ 40 on Clinician Administered PTSD Scale [CAPS]
- History of moderate to severe traumatic brain injury, seizure or organic mental
- Lifetime history of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, other psychotic disorder, or
depression with a score of ≥ 16 on the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale
(Hamilton, 1960), active suicidal ideation
- Unstable medical illness
- Subjects undergoing any formal psychotherapy within 3 months of enrollment
- Subjects that meet criteria for substance dependence during the last 6 months
- History of adverse reaction to corticosteroids.
- Concurrent use of other psychotropic medication (e. g. benzodiazepines,
Locations and Contacts
University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92037, United States
UCSD Anxiety Disorders Research Program
Aerni A, Traber R, Hock C, Roozendaal B, Schelling G, Papassotiropoulos A, Nitsch RM, Schnyder U, de Quervain DJ. Low-dose cortisol for symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. Am J Psychiatry. 2004 Aug;161(8):1488-90.
Schelling G, Briegel J, Roozendaal B, Stoll C, Rothenhäusler HB, Kapfhammer HP. The effect of stress doses of hydrocortisone during septic shock on posttraumatic stress disorder in survivors. Biol Psychiatry. 2001 Dec 15;50(12):978-85.
Schelling G, Kilger E, Roozendaal B, de Quervain DJ, Briegel J, Dagge A, Rothenhäusler HB, Krauseneck T, Nollert G, Kapfhammer HP. Stress doses of hydrocortisone, traumatic memories, and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder in patients after cardiac surgery: a randomized study. Biol Psychiatry. 2004 Mar 15;55(6):627-33.
Olff M, Güzelcan Y, de Vries GJ, Assies J, Gersons BP. HPA- and HPT-axis alterations in chronic posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2006 Nov;31(10):1220-30. Epub 2006 Nov 1.
Starting date: August 2009
Last updated: June 2, 2015