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

Olga Brawman-Mintzer, Rebecca G. Knapp, Moira Rynn, Rickey E. Carter, Karl Rickels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Objective: This study assessed the efficacy and safety of sertraline in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Method: 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. Results: 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. Conclusion: Despite the relatively small between-group differences, study findings suggest a role for sertraline in the acute treatment of GAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-881
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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