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Sertraline maintenance treatment reduced relapse and dropouts in post-traumatic stress disorder

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 QUESTION: In patients who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and have responded to continuation sertraline treatment, does maintenance sertraline treatment reduce relapse?


Randomised (unclear allocation concealment*), blinded (unclear),* placebo controlled trial with 28 weeks of follow up.


24 centres in the US.


96 patients who were 21 to 69 years of age (mean age 43y y, 70% women); met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 3rd edition, revised, criteria for PTSD; had PTSD symptoms for > 6 months (mean duration 13 y) and a total severity score ≥ 50 on the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) part 2; and met responder criteria (Clinical Global Impression [CGI] improvement score ≤ 2 and ≥ 30% improvement in total severity score on CAPS part 2) after 24 weeks of sertraline. Exclusion criteria included bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, organic mental disorder, primary diagnosis of major depression or anxiety, and substance …

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  • Source of funding: Pfizer.

  • For correspondence: Dr J Davidson, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA. jonathan.davidson{at}

  • Abstract and commentary also appear in Evidence-Based Mental Health.

  • * See glossary.