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Psychosomatics. 2003 May-Jun;44(3):216-21.

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of sertraline in the prevention of depression in stroke patients.

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Department of Psychiatry, Copenhagen University Hospital, Frederiksberg, Denmark.

Erratum in

  • Psychosomatics. 2004 Jan-Feb;45(1):91.


The authors tested the effect of sertraline in the prevention of poststroke depression. After experiencing an acute ischemic stroke, nondepressed patients (N=137) were randomly assigned to 12 months of double-blind treatment with either sertraline (N=70) or placebo (N=67). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed sertraline to have significantly superior prophylactic efficacy compared with placebo. Two definitions of clinical depression were used: total score >18 on the HAM-D(17) and score >or=9 on the HAM-D(6). Approximately 10% of the sertraline-treated group developed depression according to either definition, whereas 30% developed depression in the placebo group. On the HAM-D(6) the superiority of sertraline to placebo was demonstrated already after 6 weeks of therapy. Treatment was well tolerated; patients treated with sertraline experienced significantly fewer adverse events.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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