Sertraline treatment of panic disorder: results of a long-term study

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2001 Oct;104(4):289-98. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0447.2001.00263.x.


Objective: To investigate the long-term efficacy, prevention of relapse and safety of sertraline in the treatment of panic disorder.

Method: This study consisted of 52 weeks of open-label sertraline treatment (n=398) followed by a 28 weeks of a double-blind, placebo-controlled discontinuation trial (n=183).

Results: Ninety-three patients were randomized to sertraline and 90 were randomized to placebo. Discontinuation due to insufficient clinical response occurred in 23.6% of placebo-treated patients and 12.0% of sertraline-treated patients (log-rank test, P=0.040). Thirty-three per cent of placebo-treated patients had an exacerbation of panic symptomatology, versus 13% of sertraline-treated patients (log-rank test, P=0.005). Abrupt cessation of sertraline resulted in dizziness (4.3% sertraline vs. 16.9% placebo; P=0.007) and insomnia (4.3% sertraline vs. 15.7% placebo; P=0.013) occurring at significantly higher rates.

Conclusion: Long-term sertraline treatment was effective in preventing relapse of panic disorder, well tolerated and associated with minimal discontinuation symptoms.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Agoraphobia / drug therapy*
  • Agoraphobia / psychology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Panic Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Panic Disorder / psychology
  • Recurrence
  • Sertraline / adverse effects
  • Sertraline / therapeutic use*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Sertraline