Sertraline in the treatment of mixed
anxiety and depression disorder

Carrasco JL, Diaz-Marsa M, Saiz-Ruiz J
Department of Psychiatry,
Hospital Fundacion Jimenez Diaz,
Universidad Autonoma,
Av. Reyes Catolicos, 2, 28040,
Madrid, Spain
J Affect Disord 2000 Jul 1; 59(1):67-69


Background: Mixed anxiety and depression disorder (MAD) has been recognized in ICD-10 as a diagnostic group including those anxious and depressed patients which do not fit sufficient criteria for any major axis I disorders. MAD is usually treated as a combination of anxiety and depression, although there are data indicating that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) might be active on both anxiety and depression. Method: 38 patients diagnosed of MAD according to ICD-10 criteria were treated with flexible doses of sertraline for 8 weeks. Benzodiazepines were not allowed during the trial. Efficacy was evaluated with the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) improvement scale and with Hamilton's depression and anxiety Scales. Personality scales, including the Cloninger's TCI and Eysenck's EPQ, were used to test the predictive value of personality traits in the response to treatment. Results: Anxiety was reduced by 55% and depression by 60% in Hamilton scales. At week 8, 29 patients were considered responders (CGI 1 o 2). Two patients discontinued the trial, only one of them due to adverse events. The mean dose of sertraline was 83.4 mg/day. Conclusion: Sertraline showed an excellent tolerability in patients with mixed anxiety-depression disorder despite high levels of baseline anxiety. The response level was high and similar to that reported for patients with major depression. These results warrant further controlled trials to assess the efficacy of SSRIs in MAD.
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