An already-approved muscle relaxant may offer relief for U.S. military veterans and first responders suffering from combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Phase 2 trials of the drug, TNX-102 SL, which contains the same chemical property as Flexeril, identified a dose and administration method that statistically improved participants’ PTSD symptoms among several mental health indices.

The findings were announced this month at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual conference, and could eventually lead doctors to unroll the first PTSD drug in more than a decade, said principal investigator Dr. Harry Croft, a former U.S. Army psychiatrist. Croft, who has also headed the investigation of 60 similar clinical trials over the last 25 years, said current PTSD treatments either don’t address every individual’s range of PTSD symptoms, pose unwanted side effects, or have poor adherence rates. Thus, scientists have continued searching for new PTSD treatments.

“The suffering caused by this condition is significant, not just for the veteran but for their family members,” Croft, medical director of the San Antonio Psychiatric Research Center, one of 24 U.S. research sites for the drug, told “We’re hopeful that we’re on the right track with this medication.”

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