Sertraline Tx May Prevent Depression After Traumatic Brain Injury

Sertraline was efficacious in preventing the onset of depression following TBI.
Sertraline was efficacious in preventing the onset of depression following TBI.

HealthDay News -- Sertraline seems to be efficacious for preventing depressive disorders after traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry. In this study, the number of patients needed to treat to prevent depression after TBI was approximately 6 when compared with placebo. 

Ricardo E. Jorge, MD, from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues conducted a placebo-controlled trial at a university hospital with 24-week follow-up. A total of 534 patients (aged 18 to 85 years) hospitalized for mild, moderate, or severe TBI were eligible for the study; 94 of these were randomized to either placebo (46 patients) or sertraline (48 patients). Seventy-nine patients completed the study.

The researchers found that to prevent depression at 24 weeks after TBI, the number needed to treat was 5.9 for sertraline treatment versus placebo (P = .03). Sertraline had no influence in the course of neuropsychological variables. The intervention was well tolerated, with mild adverse effects in both the sertraline and placebo groups.

"Future studies should replicate these findings in a large sample of patients with TBI and depict their long-term physical, cognitive, behavioral, and functional outcomes," the authors write.

Disclosures: Dr Jorge reported receiving lecture honoraria from Xiang-Jansen Pharmaceuticals. Dr Robinson reported receiving compensation for participation in an advisory committee meeting sponsored by Avanir Pharmaceuticals, lecture honorarium from Xiang-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, research funding from the Senator Financial Group, royalties from Cambridge University Press, and serving as a consultant to Otsuka Pharmaceuticals.

Reference

Jorge RE, Acion L, Burin DI, Robinson RG. Sertraline for preventing mood disorders following traumatic brain injury: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016 Sept 14; doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.2189.

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