A Randomized Dose-Ranging Study of Neuropeptide y in Patients with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Sehrish Sayed, Nicholas T. Van Dam, Sarah R. Horn, Marin M. Kautz, Michael Parides, Sara Costi, Katherine A. Collins, Brian Iacoviello, Dan V. Iosifescu, Aleksander A. Mathé, Steven M. Southwick, Adriana Feder, Dennis S. Charney, James W. Murrough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Background: Anxiety and trauma-related disorders are among the most prevalent and disabling medical conditions in the United States, and posttraumatic stress disorder in particular exacts a tremendous public health toll. We examined the tolerability and anxiolytic efficacy of neuropeptide Y administered via an intranasal route in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder. Methods: Twenty-six individuals were randomized in a cross-over, single ascending dose study into 1 of 5 cohorts: 1.4 mg (n = 3), 2.8 mg (n = 6), 4.6 mg (n = 5), 6.8 mg (n = 6), and 9.6 mg (n = 6). Each individual was dosed with neuropeptide Y or placebo on separate treatment days 1 week apart in random order under double-blind conditions. Assessments were conducted at baseline and following a trauma script symptom provocation procedure subsequent to dosing. Occurrence of adverse events represented the primary tolerability outcome. The difference between treatment conditions on anxiety as measured by the Beck Anxiety Inventory and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory immediately following the trauma script represented efficacy outcomes. Results: Twenty-four individuals completed both treatment days. Neuropeptide Y was well tolerated up to and including the highest dose. There was a significant interaction between treatment and dose; higher doses of neuropeptide Y were associated with a greater treatment effect, favoring neuropeptide Y over placebo on Beck Anxiety Inventory score (F1,20=4.95, P = .038). There was no significant interaction for State-Trait Anxiety Inventory score.Conclusions: Our study suggests that a single dose of neuropeptide Y is well tolerated up to 9.6 mg and may be associated with anxiolytic effects. Future studies exploring the safety and efficacy of neuropeptide Y in stress-related disorders are warranted. The reported study is registered at: http://clinicaltrials.gov (ID: NCT01533519).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-11
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • anxiety
  • neuropeptide Y
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • resilience
  • stress
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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