Adjunctive risperidone treatment and sleep symptoms in combat veterans with chronic PTSD

Daniella David, Ludmila De Faria, Thomas A. Mellman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Sleep disturbances are core symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and are often resistant to treatment. One reason for the recent use of atypical antipsychotics in PTSD appears to be their effects on sleep. Study objectives were (1) to evaluate preliminarily the sleep effects of adjunctive risperidone, and (2) to evaluate the use of sleep diaries versus the more standard retrospective sleep assessments. This was a pilot, open-label, 12-week, flexible-dose trial of adjunctive risperidone in male veterans with a primary diagnosis of chronic, combat-related PTSD, partially responsive to current medications. Diagnostic interviews were administered at baseline, and PTSD ratings were obtained at baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks. Self-report sleep measures, including morning logs, were obtained at baseline and 6 weeks. Seventeen patients completed at least 6 weeks of the trial. Global ratings of sleep disturbance improved. Changes in frequency of awakenings and reductions in trauma-related dreams were only evident via morning log assessments. Nighttime awakening frequency derived from the sleep logs but not from the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) decreased significantly. There were no changes in the PSQI nightmare item; however, sleep log data indicated a reduced proportion of traumatic dreams at 6 weeks. Preliminary results suggest that adjunctive risperidone may benefit sleep disturbances associated with chronic PTSD. Prospective logs may be more sensitive to change than are retrospective scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-491
Number of pages3
JournalDepression and anxiety
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 20 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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