Long-term sertraline treatment of children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder

E. H. Cook, K. D. Wagner, J. S. March, J. Biederman, P. Landau, R. Wolkow, M. Messig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the safety and effectiveness of sertraline in the long-term treatment of pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Method: Children (6-12 years; n=72) and adolescents (13-18 years; n=65) with DSM-III-R-defined OCD who had completed a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled sertraline study were given open-label sertraline 50 to 200 mg/day in this 52-week extension study. Concomitant psychotherapy was allowed during the extension study. Outcome was evaluated by the Children's Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (CY-BOCS), National Institute of Mental Health Global Obsessive-Compulsive Scale, and Clinical Global Impression Severity (CGI-S) and Improvement (CGI-I) scores. Results: Significant improvement (p<.0001) was demonstrated on all four outcome parameters on an intent-to-treat analysis for the overall study population (n=132), as well as the child and the adolescent samples. At endpoint, 72% of children and 61% of adolescents met response criteria (>25% decrease in CY-BOCS and a CGI-I score of 1 or 2). Significant (p<.05) improvements were also demonstrated from the extension study baseline to endpoint on all outcome parameters in those patients who received sertraline during the 12-week, double-blind acute study. Long-term sertraline treatment was well tolerated, and there were no discontinuations due to changes in vital signs, laboratory values, or electrocardiograms. Conclusion: Sertraline (50-200 mg/day) was effective and generally well tolerated in the treatment of childhood and adolescent OCD for up to 52 weeks. Improvement was seen with continued treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1175-1181
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Sertraline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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