Sertraline Treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study
J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(6):874-881
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Objective: This study assessed the
efficacy and safety of sertraline in the treatment of
generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Method: The study was conducted from
April 2000 to May 2002. Outpatients with DSM-IV GAD (N = 326) who satisfied
inclusion/exclusion criteria and completed a 1-week screening
phase were randomly assigned to 10-week
double-blind treatment with flexible dosing of sertraline
(50-200 mg/day) or placebo. The primary efficacy measure was change from baseline in
Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAM-A) total
score. Response was defined as a 50% or greater decrease in HAM-A total score at endpoint.
Results: Sertraline produced a
statistically significant reduction in anxiety symptoms,
as measured by HAM-A total change scores (p = .032), HAM-A psychic anxiety
subscale (p = .011), and Hospital Anxiety and
Depression Scale-anxiety subscale (p = .001). Response
rates were significantly higher (p = .05) for the sertraline group (59.2%) compared to the placebo group (48.2%). Sertraline was well tolerated,
with only sexual side effects reported
significantly more often by subjects receiving sertraline
than those receiving placebo.
Conclusion: Despite the relatively small
between-group differences, study findings suggest
a role for sertraline in the acute treatment of GAD.