We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.


Can sertraline prevent depressive disorders following traumatic brain injury?

Can sertraline prevent depressive disorders following traumatic brain injury? content piece image
Listen with
Register for free to listen to this article
Thank you. Listen to this article using the player above.

Want to listen to this article for FREE?

Complete the form below to unlock access to ALL audio articles.

Read time: 1 minute

Depressive disorders are common following traumatic brain injury (TBI). So, can the antidepressant medication sertraline (commonly known by the trade name Zoloft) prevent the onset of depressive disorders following TBI?

Ricardo Jorge, MD, of the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, and coauthors tackled that question in a new article published online by JAMA Psychiatry. The authors conducted a randomized clinical trial at a university hospital over four years with 24 weeks of follow-up. A total of 94 patients consented and were assigned to receive placebo (n=46) or sertraline (n=48) at a dose of 100 mg/day for 24 weeks or until a mood disorder developed.

See Also: Impact of traumatic brain injury on long-term memory explored

Results suggest sertraline at a low dose early after TBI appears to be an efficacious strategy to prevent depression after TBI but more study is needed before considering possible changes to treatment guidelines.

Limitations to the current study include its small sample size.

"Given the prevalence and functional effect of depression among patients with TBI, these findings have profound therapeutic implications. However, although our findings are novel and provocative, recommending a change in the guidelines to treat patients with TBI requires replication of these findings in multicenter studies. In addition, it would be important to study whether combining antidepressants with behavioral interventions, such as psychotherapy or cognitive rehabilitation protocols, will optimize long-term functional outcomes," the authors conclude.

Note: Material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

JAMA   press release


Jorge RE et al. Sertraline for Preventing Mood Disorders Following Traumatic Brain Injury - A Randomized Clinical Trial.   JAMA Psychiatry, Published Online September 14 2016. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.2189