Study Says Cortisone Shots May Prevent PTSD

A new study says a quick shot of cortisone may prevent PTSD, according to researchers at Sheba Medical Center. It’s known as a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event resulting in psychological trauma.

Professor Joseph Zohar, head of the research, said that the body already produces its own steroid hormone after a horrible event protecting some from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The trick is that if the right amount of the hormone is injected within a certain amount of time, it could reduce the chances of a patient from going through the disorder by 60 percent, according to Tel Aviv University. Zohar stated that the results are important as more U.S. soldiers return home from combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The professor added that the findings could curve the prescribing of other medications such as Valium or Xanax, aimed at calming a patient down. “In fact,” he says, “these pills interfere with our natural and potent recovery process, hindering the secretion of cortisone shots. Looking at the long-term effect, people who received these medications had a greater chance of developing PTSD than those who did not.”

Researchers first tested their theory on two groups of lab rats. They introduced the smell of cat to both groups then administered the hormone to one group shortly after. Most scientists said the treatment was effective on those rats.

They then conducted a double-blind study on humans in an emergency room. One group of patients received cortisone shots and one a placebo. There were follow-ups two weeks, one month and three months after they experienced a traumatic incident. They found there was a significant decrease in its development in the patients receiving the shot.

Research to prevent PTSD has been important to professors, because it involves the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or to one’s own physical, sexual, or psychological integrity, overwhelming the individual’s ability to cope.