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Sertraline Can Prevent Recurrent Depressive Episodes In Diabetics

A study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry has now revealed that the risk of recurrent depression in diabetics may be effectively prevented by the antidepressant medication, Sertraline. //In addition to reducing the frequency of depressive episodes, the drug has also been found to increase the time interval between episodes of depression in diabetics.

It is believed that one in 4 diabetics end up with a diagnosis of clinical depression, leading to a substantial reduction in the quality of life and functional ability. In addition, it can increase the risk of high blood sugar level, diabetic complications and even death.

Conventional treatment with psychotherapy and anti-depressant medication has been found to be effective. However, this is only useful in short term. Furthermore, previous studies have shown that 1 in 7 diabetic patients developed resistance to the commonly used anti-depressant medication owing to incidence of recurrent depression, placing them at an increased risk for abnormally high blood sugar levels.

The researchers included 152 diabetics, all of whom had recovered from their first bout of depression following treatment with sertraline. The study participants were followed for a minimum of one year or till such time their depression recurred. During the same time, they were randomly assigned into two groups; with the experimental group receiving sertraline while the control group received a placebo instead.

Following detection of depression associated symptoms; the patients underwent a psychiatric interview. The patients’ hemoglobin levels, more specifically Hb A1c, an indicator of the blood glucose control level over the past two or three months was measured every two months.

At the end of the study, patients taking sertraline had a reduced risk of developing recurrent depression when compared to their counterparts. At the end of one year, 65.8% of the patients taking sert
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