This article is part of Pulmonology Advisor‘s coverage of the American Thoracic Society’s International Conference, taking place in San Diego, California. Our staff will report on medical research related to asthma and other respiratory conditions, conducted by experts in the field. Check back regularly for more news from ATS 2018.

SAN DIEGO — Sertraline does not prove to be beneficial over placebo for relief of chronic breathlessness, according to research presented at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2018 International Conference, held May 18 to 23, 2018, in San Diego, California.

Researchers conducted a double-blind randomized trial that included 223 participants with chronic breathlessness who had optimal treatment of the underlying cause or causes, along with being referred to palliative care. Participants were randomly assigned to receive sertraline 25 to 100 mg (titrated over 9 days) group or placebo for 4 weeks. Change in intensity of current breathlessness >15% from baseline on a 100-mm visual analogue scale was the primary outcome of this study.

The results showed no difference in the proportion of people responding between study groups at days 26 to 28 (odds ratio, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.71-1.40; P =.992), nor any other breathlessness measure. The sertraline group had a higher likelihood of improving quality of life vs the placebo group (odds ratio, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.01-0.41; P =.044). Adverse events were similar between the groups. Performance status, anxiety and depression, and survival showed no differences.

The researchers concluded that, “[s]ertraline does not appear to provide any benefit over placebo in the symptomatic relief of chronic breathlessness in this patient population.”

Related Articles

Currow D, Louw S, Hill J, et al. Sertraline in symptomatic chronic breathlessness: a double blind, randomized trial. Presented at: American Thoracic Society 2018 International Conference; May 18-23, 2018; San Diego, CA. Abstract 7730.

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Reference

Currow D, Louw S, Hill J, et al. Sertraline in symptomatic chronic breathlessness: a double blind, randomized trial. Presented at: American Thoracic Society 2018 International Conference; May 18-23, 2018; San Diego, CA. Abstract 7730.