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Prescribing across the life-span

Prescribing across the life-span
Photo of two people's legs as they move along a pavement. An older person in aa wheelchair and a teenager walking at their side.
© University of Glasgow
Children and Adults

Pharmacological treatments are not usually recommended for children and young people under the age of 18 (NICE, 2018). Generally, psychological treatment is the mainstay of treatment for children and young people with PTSD.

Older Adults

Pharmacological treatment can be used in combination with psychological therapies in older adults. Care needs to be taken when prescribing medication due to the potential for increased side effects, increased risk of drug interactions and increased rates of physical health comorbidity in older adults.

PTSD and Other Conditions

For individuals with PTSD and depression, it is important to treat both the PTSD and the depression. For example, severe depression can impact on an individual’s ability to engage with psychological treatment. Conversely, when PTSD is effectively treated, depressive symptoms may improve.

Generally, individuals with substance misuse difficulties should not be excluded from treatment for PTSD. Collaborative working with addiction services to reduce harm associated with substance misuse may be helpful prior to engaging in psychological interventions.


NICE. (2018). Recommendations | Post-traumatic stress disorder | Guidance | NICE. Retrieved from

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the Global Context

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