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VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines

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Management of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Acute Stress Reaction (2010)


FDA Warning/Regulatory Alert
Note from the OQSV Evidence-Based Practice: This guideline references a drug(s) for which important revised regulatory and/or warning information has been released since completion of the CPG.

Recommendation Against Continued Use: March 28, 2012 – Citalopram Hydrobromide (CELEXA®): new changes have been made to the citalopram product label, specifically: ECG and/or electrolyte monitoring should be performed in patients prescribed citalopram who have relative contraindications to citalopram use, such as in those with comorbid conditions predisposing a risk of QT prolongation; Previous label recommendations that “contraindicated” citalopram use in patients with congenital QT syndrome because of the risk for QT prolongation have been changed to less stringent terminology of “not recommended” to recognize patients with this condition who could benefit from citalopram or who cannot tolerate other alternatives; The maximum dose of citalopram remains at 20mg/day for patients greater than the age of 60 years; Citalopram should be discontinued in patients with QTc measurements persistently above 500ms.
Link to Citalopram Notice

PTSD guideline imageThe guideline describes the critical decision points in the Management of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Acute Stress Reaction and provides clear and comprehensive evidence based recommendations incorporating current information and practices for practitioners throughout the DoD and VA Health Care systems. The guideline is intended to improve patient outcomes and local management of patients with one of these diagnoses.

Disclaimer:This Clinical Practice Guideline is intended for use only as a tool to assist a clinician/healthcare professional and should not be used to replace clinical judgment.

About the CPG Guideline Links Patient-Provider Tools Related Guidelines
The guideline is formatted as four algorithms and modules, with annotations:
  • Core Algorithm
    - Initial Evaluation and Treatment
  • Algorithm A
    - Acute Stress Reaction/Disorder (ASR/ASD)
  • Algorithm B-1
    - Diagnosis of PTSD
  • Algorithm B-2
    - Treatment for PTSD
Questions about the PTSD Guideline
PTSD Full Guideline (2010)
PTSD Summary (2010)
PTSD Pocket Guide (2013)
PTSD Provider Tool (Training)
Implementing the 2010 VA/DoD CPG for PTSD: A Guide to Clinic Leaders
Experiencing PTSD as a Family - Booklet
Understanding PTSD - Booklet
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
Bipolar Disorder in Adults (BD)
Substance Use Disorder (SUD)
Concussion-mTBI
Post-Deployment Health (PDH)