Changes in personality traits during treatment with sertraline or citalopram

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Background Recent studies indicate that selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) reduce the symptoms accompanying personality disorders and modulate a normal personality.

Aims To examine the effect of two SSRIs, sertraline and citalopram, on personality traits in major depressed patients.

Method Personality traits were evaluated at baseline and after six months using the Karolinska Scales of Personality (KSP).

Results After treatment, significant changes in the direction of normalisation were seen in all scales.To determine whether the observed changes could be explained by improved depressive symptoms, multiple stepwise regressions with the separate KSP as dependent variables were performed. Improvements in depressive symptoms only accounted for 0-8.4% of the observed variance.

Conclusions In depressed patients treated with SSRIs significant effects are seen on personality traits measured by the KSP.

Declaration of interest The present study is a separate part of a large study financially supported by Pfizer AB.

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