Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Curr Med Res Opin. 2006 Sep;22(9):1703-13.

A comparative, randomized, double-blind study of trazodone prolonged-release and sertraline in the treatment of major depressive disorder.

Author information

  • 1Fourth Local Health Unit, Mental Health Department, Turin, Italy.



To evaluate the efficacy and safety of trazodone prolonged-release compared with sertraline in the treatment of patients with major depression.


A total of 122 patients aged 19-64 years were enrolled in this multicenter, double-blind, double-dummy, randomized, comparator-controlled study. Patients received 7 days of single-blind placebo treatment followed by 6 weeks of double-blind treatment with trazodone prolonged-release 150-450 mg/day (n = 62) or sertraline 50-100 mg/day (n = 60).


Efficacy was evaluated by mean changes from baseline in the Hamilton Depression Rating scale (HAM-D), Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale, Hamilton Anxiety Rating scale, and the Clinical Global Impression-Global Improvement/Severity scores; and by the rates of patients responding to treatment and considered to be in remission. Time to onset of efficacy and safety were assessed.


Trazodone and sertraline were equally effective in reducing depressive symptoms and promoting remission, and had similar onset times. In the Intent-to-Treat population, there were no significant differences in favor of trazodone at study endpoint in all efficacy measures, while a statistically significant difference was detected in the Per-Protocol population on HAM-D and in the percentage of responders. Analysis of HAM-D factors (anxiety/somatization, cognitive disturbance, retardation, and sleep disturbance) indicated that sleep disturbances were significantly less evident for patients taking trazodone at study endpoint. Adverse drug reactions, mostly of mild intensity, were reported in 42% of trazodone-treated patients (mainly of the nervous system) and 43% of sertraline-treated patients (mainly gastrointestinal). One event was considered to be serious: a patient treated with trazodone 450 mg/day showed moderate anxiety/tremor/insomnia and was hospitalized. Treatment was discontinued; the patient made a full recovery.


This study showed that after 6 weeks, trazodone and sertraline were not different in reducing symptoms of depression and in producing disease remission. Tolerability profiles reflected the differing pharmacological properties of these antidepressants. Trazodone may be a therapeutic option in the treatment of patients with major depression showing prevalent sleep disturbances.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Taylor & Francis
    Loading ...
    Support Center