Post-Treatment Outcomes in a Double-Blind, Randomized Trial of Sertraline for Alcohol Dependence
Article first published online: 7 OCT 2011
Copyright © 2011 by the Research Society on Alcoholism
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 36, Issue 4, pages 739–744, April 2012
How to Cite
Kranzler, H. R., Armeli, S. and Tennen, H. (2012), Post-Treatment Outcomes in a Double-Blind, Randomized Trial of Sertraline for Alcohol Dependence. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 36: 739–744. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01659.x
- Issue published online: 27 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 7 OCT 2011
- Received for publication June 23, 2011; accepted August 24, 2011.
- Post-Treatment Outcomes;
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor;
- Age of Onset;
- Alcohol Dependence;
Background: Pharmacotherapy studies in alcohol dependence (AD) are generally of short duration and do not include post-treatment follow-up. We examined the durability of treatment effects in a placebo-controlled trial of sertraline for AD.
Methods: As previously reported, patients received 12 weeks of treatment with sertraline (n = 63) or placebo (n = 71), followed by assessments at 3 and 6 months post-treatment (Kranzler et al., 2011, J Clin Psychopharmacol 31:22–30). We examined the main and interaction effects with time of 3 between-subject factors (medication group, age of onset of AD [late-onset alcoholics, LOAs, vs. early-onset alcoholics, EOAs], and the tri-allelic 5-HTTLPR genotype) on drinking days (DDs) and heavy drinking days (HDDs).
Results: The medication group effect, which was significant during treatment, remained significant during the 3-month follow-up period for L’/L’ LOAs, with the sertraline group having fewer DDs than the placebo group (p = 0.027). However, the medication group effect seen in L’/L’ EOAs during treatment was no longer significant (p = 0.48). There were no significant effects in S’ carriers at the 3-month follow-up visit, or in either genotype group at the 6-month follow-up.
Conclusions: The beneficial effects of sertraline observed in LOAs during treatment persisted during the 3-month post-treatment period. Additional studies are needed to validate these pharmacogenetic findings, which together with the effects seen during active treatment support the use of sertraline only in LOAs.