Latest Research on Sertraline
Sertraline is a common anti-depressant, which is also effective for some anxiety disorders. This medication is widely prescribed by GP's and psychiatrists. Most research looks at the effectiveness of Sertraline prescribed by Psychiatrists, usually with at least a moderate severity of illness. A large, well conducted study, published in Lancet Psychiatry, looked at the effects of sertraline prescribed by GP's for a wide range of conditions and severity, which aligns the research well with common practice.
The findings suggest sertraline is well tolerate (in keeping with previous research). This medication improved anxiety symptoms compared to placebo, as well as overall psychological wellbeing. Depressive symptoms though were not significantly improved.
Why might this be? One possibility is that sertraline is not an effective anti-depressant. More likely though, is that many people in the study had a level of depression not severe enough for Sertraline to be effective. NICE guidelines do not recommend anti-depressant medication for people with mild depression. Also, the purpose of this study was to include people who may or may not have a diagnosis (unlike most research), as this is more 'true' to real life. Therefore, many people in the study may simply not of had a depressive disorder.
Overall, this study supports prescribing of Sertraline in primary care. You can read the whole study here: