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J Clin Psychiatry. 2006 Jun;67(6):874-81.

Sertraline treatment for generalized anxiety disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29406, USA.



This study assessed the efficacy and safety of sertraline in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).


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.


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.


Despite the relatively small between-group differences, study findings suggest a role for sertraline in the acute treatment of GAD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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