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J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2010 Dec;20(6):463-71. doi: 10.1089/cap.2009.0115.

Sertraline treatment of children and adolescents with posttraumatic stress disorder: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Children’s National Medical Center, 111 Michigan Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20010, USA.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of sertraline in children and adolescents who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Children and adolescents (6-17 years old) meeting DSM-IV criteria for PTSD were randomized to 10 weeks of double-blind treatment with sertraline (50-200  mg/day) or placebo. The primary efficacy measure was the University of California, Los Angeles Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Index for DSM-IV (UCLA PTSD-I).


A total of 131 patients met entry criteria and were randomized to sertraline (n = 67; female, 59.7%; mean age, 10.8; mean UCLA PTSD-I score, 43.8 ± 8.5) or placebo (n = 62; female, 61.3%; mean age, 11.2; mean UCLA PTSD-I score, 42.1 ± 8.8). There was no difference between sertraline and placebo in least squares (LS) mean change in the UCLA PTSD-I score, either on a completer analysis (-20.4 ± 2.1 vs. -22.8 ± 2.1; p = 0.373) or on an last observation carried forward (LOCF) end point analysis (-17.7 ± 1.9 vs. -20.8 ± 2.1; p = 0.201). Attrition was higher on sertraline (29.9%) compared to placebo (17.7%). Discontinuation due to adverse events occurred in a 7.5% treated with sertraline and 3.2% treated with placebo.


Sertraline was a generally safe treatment in children and adolescents with PTSD, but did not demonstrate efficacy when compared to placebo during 10 weeks of treatment. Identifier: NCT00150306.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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