A pilot, open study of sertraline in outpatients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) or with a history of TRD who responded but later relapsed

George I. Papakostas, Timothy Petersen, John J. Worthington, Pamela A. Roffi, Jonathan E. Alpert, Maurizio Fava, Andrew A. Nierenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

While most depressed patients are prescribed a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) as an initial treatment, the use of SSRIs as a second or third-line treatment for depression is not as prevalent. This trial assessed the efficacy of sertraline for patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) or patients with a history of TRD who responded but later relapsed. Twelve patients with TRD who had not responded to a number of antidepressant trials (n = 7), or had responded but subsequently suffered a relapse (n = 5), were enrolled in an 8-week, open trial of sertraline. Both a completer analysis (n = 6) and an intent-to-treat (ITT) analysis (n = 12) were performed to evaluate sertraline response rates. Using a completer analysis, four patients (66.6%) were classified as responders; one (16.7%) as a partial responder and one (16.7%) as a non-responder. An ITT analysis resulted in five (41.7%) patients being classified as responders; one (8.3%) as a partial responder and six (50%) as non-responders. Of the four responders in the completer analysis, three (50%) achieved remission. Of the five responders in the ITT analysis, four (33.3%) achieved remission. Overall, two of seven (28.6%) non-responders and three of five (60.0%) relapsers responded to sertraline. The present results suggest the potential utility of sertraline for patients with TRD, or those with a history of TRD who responded but later relapsed, and warrant larger, placebo-controlled studies to further explore the potential role of sertraline for such patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-296
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Clinical Psychopharmacology
Volume18
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antidepressant non-response
  • Depression
  • Medication switch
  • Refractory depression
  • SSRI
  • Sertraline
  • Treatment-resistant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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