University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

Adjunctive Minocycline for Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Anna Gerst, BS; Tej Murthy, BS; Alisandrea Elson, MD; David Driscoll, PhD; Marvin J. Bittner, MD; Sriram Ramaswamy, MD

Published online November 22, 2021.

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ABSTRACT

Introduction: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic, debilitating anxiety disorder. While there is evidence that antibiotics such as minocycline may help to improve symptoms in some psychiatric disorders, no human studies have evaluated their potential as a treatment for PTSD.

Methods: We present results from 4 men aged 33 to 59 years who completed a 12-week pilot, prospective, nonrandomized, open-label clinical trial of adjunctive minocycline for veterans diagnosed with PTSD.

Results: All 4 patients showed reduction in PTSD symptoms at the end of the 12-week study, and 3 patients showed reduction in depression symptoms. Observed changes in inflammatory biomarkers are discussed.

Discussion: Previous studies have reported increased inflammation in PTSD, though evidence of a potential therapeutic effect of minocycline for PTSD has not been reported previously in humans.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that antibiotics like minocycline may help to reduce symptoms of PTSD, though further investigation is needed to confirm these findings.


Author Affiliations: Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska (Gerst, Murthy, Elson, Bittner, Ramaswamy); VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System, Omaha, Nebraska (Elson, Driscoll, Bittner, Ramaswamy).
Corresponding Author: Sriram Ramaswamy, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Creighton University School of Medicine, 7710 Mercy Rd, Suite 601, Omaha, NE 68124-237; phone 402.995.4959, email SriramRamaswamy@creighton.edu; ORCID ID 0000-0001-5511-4716.
Acknowledgements: This project was presented as a poster for the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians at the 72nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Assembly.
Funding/Support: This work was supported by Creighton University’s Dr. George F. Haddix President’s Faculty Research Fund Award.
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
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