Are PTSD Drugs Killing Veterans?

Aug 31, 2010
Jenny Inglee is a Los Angeles-based journalist and the Education Editor at TakePart.
Eight percent of the U.S. population suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. (Photo: Reuters)

A drug used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in vets may actually be causing more harm than good.

The drug, marketed as Seroquel, is the go-to prescription for doctors treating vets suffering from PTSD symptoms such as insomnia, nightmares and constant restlessness.

This powerful anti-psychotic sedative is also used to treat schizophrenia patients.

Thousands of veterans have taken the drug over the past nine years.

The exact number of deaths of those taking Seroquel is undetermined, but the Associated Press reports:

"Several soldiers and veterans have died while taking the pills, raising concerns among some military families that the government is not being up front about the drug's risks."

Lawsuits have been filed due to the potential side-effects of the drug. They include: "diabetes, weight gain and uncontrollable muscle spasms."

With nearly 20 percent of soldiers returning to the U.S. with PTSD or major depression, doctors and researchers are looking under every corner for proper treatment.

In July, TakePart reported that the elicit party drug ecstasy was being considered as a potential treatment for troops, and AOL News reports that mushrooms and LSD may be next.

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