An increasing literature shows that omega-3 fatty acids provide numerous health benefits,
including a variety of psychiatric symptoms and disorders including stress, anxiety,
cognitive impairment, mood disorders (major depression and bipolar disorder) and
schizophrenia. Omega-3 fatty acids may additionally represent a promising treatment strategy
in patients with PTSD. Moreover, given its beneficial cardiovascular effects, adjunctive
omega-3 fatty acids may also benefit the general health status of these veterans, who
frequently present with a variety of comorbid medical disorders.
1. Veterans 18-65 years of age, any ethnic group, either sex.
2. Ability to participate fully in the informed consent process.
3. Current diagnosis of PTSD .
4. No anticipated need to alter medications for the 10-week duration of the study.
1. Serious unstable medical illness, history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) with loss of
consciousness greater than 30 minutes, or history of cerebrovascular accident,
prostate or breast cancer.
2. Current active suicidal and/or homicidal ideation, intent or plan.
3. Use of aspirin, warfarin or other anticoagulant therapy, as omega-3 fatty acids may
increase bleeding time. Other concomitant medications for medical conditions will be
addressed on a case-by-case base and determined if exclusionary.
4. Regular use of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation within the last 3 months (cod liver
oil, other fish oil, flaxseed).
5. Regular consumption of more than one serving of fatty fish per week.
6. Substance dependence within the last 4 weeks (other than nicotine dependence).
7. Current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) diagnosis of
bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder, or cognitive disorder due
to a general medical condition other than TBI.
8. Female patients who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
9. Known allergy to study medication.