Antidepressant therapy in post-stroke depression

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2008 Jun;9(8):1291-8. doi: 10.1517/14656566.9.8.1291.


Background: About 40% of patients with stroke will develop depression at some stage after the acute event. Post-stroke depression (PSD) is associated with a poor prognosis. Depressed patients have more severe deficits in activities of daily living, a worse functional outcome, more severe cognitive deficits and increased mortality as compared to stroke patients without depression.

Objective: This review will focus on available controlled trials of treatment for PSD.

Methods: An unsystematic review of recent studies for the treatment of PSD.

Results: Randomized controlled trials have demonstrated the efficacy of sertraline, citalopram and nortriptyline to treat post-stroke depression. Whether antidepressant medication may help to prevent post-stroke depression and decrease post-stroke mortality will require further controlled studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Citalopram / therapeutic use
  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology
  • Depressive Disorder / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Nortriptyline / therapeutic use
  • Prognosis
  • Sertraline / therapeutic use
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke / mortality
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Citalopram
  • Nortriptyline
  • Sertraline