Objective: To examine the safety and efficacy of sertraline augmentation therapy in the treatment of behavioral manifestations of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in outpatients treated with donepezil. Methods and materials: Patients with probable or possible AD, and a Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) total score >5 (with a severity score ≥2 in at least one domain), were treated with donepezil (5-10 mg) for 8 weeks, then randomly assigned to 12 weeks of double-blind augmentation therapy with either sertraline (50-200 mg) or placebo. Primary efficacy measures were the 12-item Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and the Clinical Global Impression Improvement (CGI-I) and Severity (CGI-S) scales. Results: 24 patients were treated with donepezil + sertraline and 120 patients with donepezil + placebo. There were no statistically significant differences at endpoint on any of the three primary efficacy measures. However, a linear mixed model analysis found modest but statistically significantly greater improvements in the CGI-I score on donepezil + sertraline. Moreover, in a sub-group of patients with moderate-to-severe behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, 60% of patients on sertraline vs 40% on placebo (p = 0.006) achieved a response (defined as ≥50% reduction in a four-item NPI-behavioral subscale). One adverse event (diarrhea) was significantly (p < 0.05) more common in the donepezil + sertraline group compared to the donepezil + placebo group. Conclusion: Sertraline augmentation was well-tolerated in this sample of AD outpatients. In addition, post hoc analyses demonstrated a modest but statistically significant advantage of sertraline over placebo augmentation in mixed model analyses and a clinically and statistically significant advantage in a subgroup of patients with moderate-to-severe behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry|
|State||Published - Jan 2004|
- Alzheimer's disease
- Antidepressive agents
- Cholinesterase inhibitors