Comparative abuse liability of sertraline,
alprazolam, and dextroamphetamine in humans

Zawertailo LA, Busto U, Kaplan HL, Sellers EM
Mental Health Unit,
Addiction Research Foundation,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada .
J Clin Psychopharmacol 1995 Apr; 15(2):117-24


Sertraline is an effective antidepressant acting as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. The subjective and behavioral effects of sertraline were studied and compared with the effects of alprazolam and dextroamphetamine in a within-subject, randomized, double-blind study in 20 volunteers aged 18 to 46 years. These subjects were experienced but nondependent users of central nervous system depressants who had the ability to reliably distinguish secobarbital, 150 mg, from placebo and to report positive subjective effects of secobarbital in an experimental setting. The following drug conditions were tested: sertraline, 100 and 200 mg; alprazolam, 1 mg; dextroamphetamine, 10 mg; and placebo. Drug effects were assessed with an objective test of psychomotor performance, subject-rated questionnaires, and observer-rated scales. Both alprazolam and dextroamphetamine were distinguishable from placebo on most measures, but sertraline produced effects discernable from placebo on only a few measures. At 1 hour postdrug administration, dextroamphetamine and alprazolam produced positive effects on several measures of elation, euphoria, and drug liking greater than placebo and both doses of sertraline. In contrast, sertraline produced higher scores on measures of dysphoria and physical unpleasantness than did the other drug conditions. Observer ratings of satisfaction with the drug and other pharmacologic effects were consistent with these findings. Results from this study indicate that sertraline, at the doses tested, does not possess the behavioral effects profile considered to be indicative of abuse potential when compared with alprazolam and dextroamphetamine.
Sertraline safety
Sertraline dosage
Sertraline and sex
Sertraline and OCD
Alprazolam (Xanax)
New antidepresants
Long-term sertraline
Sertraline and noradrenaline
Sertraline and personality disorders
Serotonin and the genetics of depression

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