Psychopharmocological treatment of traumatized refugees
The number of refugees in the Netherlands is increasing considerably. Many of them are traumatised by events in the country of origin and during the flight from that country. Trauma treatment generally consists of psychotherapy (exposure and coping techniques) but often psychiatric drugs are needed. A proper diagnosis is necessary for the treatment; often the diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder is made, but there is much comorbidity. In non-Western individuals medication should be dosed carefully because of a lower effective dose. Often there are also problems with compliance in using the drug. At the moment antidepressants are used in the post traumatic stress disorder, from the first as well as from the second generation. If the only complaint is of nightmares, longer acting benzodiazepines are recommended as sleeping medication. A good matching of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy is fundamental if negative interaction is to be prevented.