The SGB vs. Medication

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) typically develops after either experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, which could range from enduring a form of abuse to sustaining a painful injury.

​Consequently, people with PTSD will experience various symptoms that can take control of many aspects of their life. For instance, they might struggle with trauma-related nightmares, flashbacks, extreme anxiety, insomnia, and uncontrollable thoughts and emotions. Unfortunately, the symptoms could impact their career performance and may cause the breakdown of various relationships.

​It is, therefore, essential for a person to face the disorder head-on, as there are a variety of treatment options to choose from at our clinic, from the stellate ganglion block (SGB) injection to medication.

PTSD Medication Options

A traumatic experience can trigger a person’s fight or flight response, which can make people process threats differently to those not living with PTSD. PTSD treatment medication has proven a popular option in recent years for helping to counteract the overwhelming symptoms of the disorder, as they could help a person to generate an optimistic outlook on life and potentially feel more like their old selves.

It is typical for a doctor to prescribe a medication that will affect either the norepinephrine levels or neurotransmitter serotonin levels. For example, a patient might receive:

  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor)

It is, however, important to note that the FDA has only approved sertraline and paroxetine as the best medications for PTSD. However, a doctor may choose to prescribe other medications, as not every patient will struggle with the same symptoms. 

For example, they might decide to prescribe medication for PTSD nightmares, medication for, antidepressants, beta-blockers, selective serotonin take inhibitors, antipsychotics or benzodiazepine, depending on a patient’s needs.

As PTSD patients typically experience more than one debilitating symptoms, it is common for doctors to prescribe a combination of various medications, which could treat anxiety, depression and/or insomnia. While medication will not eliminate a symptom altogether, they could make it much more manageable.

Patients may, however, need to have patience when taking medications, as it can take some time to perfect their dosage. Also, if they need to regularly consume various medications, it is likely they will need to embark on regular checks to avoid unwanted health conditions or side effects, such as liver damage, headaches or nausea.

The Stellate Ganglion Block Injection for PTSD

Another treatment option that might medically alleviate PTSD symptoms is the stellate ganglion block (SGB) injection. While patients taking medications will likely need to do so every day, one SGB injection for PTSD could be performed in less than half an hour and patients could ease their symptoms for many months or years. Plus, they could experience the fast acting and long-term benefits in as little as half an hour.

Our dedicated team will administer a local anesthetic agent into the stellate ganglion, which is a group of nerves found within the sympathetic nervous system and determines a person’s fight or flight response.

As a trauma can lead to elevated norepinephrine levels in the body, which is an adrenaline-like hormone, it can cause the production of extra nerve growth or sprouting in the system that triggers the amygdala, which is the fear center of the brain that causes PTSD symptoms. The anesthetic can consequently return a person’s sympathetic nervous system to a pre-trauma state, which can prevent nerve growth and reduce the debilitating symptoms.

The SGB injection we are offering is a relatively new PTSD breakthrough injection, but it is becoming increasingly popular with researchers and physicians. The low-risk SGB procedure has been used since the 1920s to treat various forms of chronic pain and the menopause, but its post traumatic stress disorder benefits have come to light in recent years.

However, it should not be viewed as a cure for the disorder, as it is possible that symptoms could return in many months or years. A patient can always receive an additional SGB treatment of PTSD, if necessary.

How Medication Compares to the PTSD Injection Treatment

While medication can help a person to manage their overwhelming symptoms on a daily basis, the SGB injection could potentially help to alleviate their negative emotions, anxiety disorder, and behaviors altogether for many months or years. As a result, a patient might not need to consume FDA approved drugs each day or embark on regular medical tests.

However, the SGB injection is not a cure and it is possible that the symptoms could return one day in the future. Regardless of whether you receive the injection or consume medications, it is worthwhile embarking on various therapy treatment options in addition to successfully overcome post-traumatic stress disorder.

 For example, the SGB injection or prescribed medications could work in harmony with cognitive behavioral therapy, prolonged exposure therapy, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.

If you are living with PTSD, you should not suffer in silence, as you could prolong the condition. There are treatment options available to help you to say goodbye to the disorder and move on from a traumatic experience. Make sure to contact our experienced and dedicated team to discuss your treatment plans to help you overcome your PTSD.

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