Omega-3 augmentation of sertraline in treatment of depression in patients with coronary heart disease: a randomized controlled trial.JAMA 2009; 302(15):1651-7JAMA
Studies of depressed psychiatric patients have shown that antidepressant efficacy can be increased by augmentation with omega-3 fatty acids.
To determine whether omega-3 improves the response to sertraline in patients with major depression and coronary heart disease (CHD).
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
Randomized controlled trial. Between May 2005 and December 2008, 122 patients in St Louis, Missouri, with major depression and CHD were randomized.
After a 2-week run-in period, all patients were given 50 mg/d of sertraline and randomized in double-blind fashion to receive 2 g/d of omega-3 acid ethyl esters (930 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] and 750 mg of docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) (n=62) or to corn oil placebo capsules (n=60) for 10 weeks.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Scores on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D).
Adherence to the medication regimen was 97% or more in both groups for both medications. There were no differences in weekly BDI-II scores (treatment x time interaction = 0.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.33 to 0.36; t(112) = 0.11; P = .91), pre-post BDI-II scores (placebo, 14.8 vs omega-3, 16.1; 95% difference-in-means CI, -4.5 to 2.0; t(116) = -0.77; P = .44), or HAM-D scores (placebo, 9.4 vs omega-3, 9.3; 95% difference-in-means CI, -2.2 to 2.4; t(115) = 0.12; P = .90). The groups did not differ on predefined indicators of depression remission (BDI-II < or = 8: placebo, 27.4% vs omega-3, 28.3%; odds ratio [OR], 0.96; 95% CI, 0.43-2.15; t(113) = -0.11; P = .91) or response (> 50% reduction in BDI-II from baseline: placebo, 49.0% vs omega-3, 47.7%; OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.51-2.19; t(112) = 0.15; P = .88).
Treatment of patients with CHD and major depression with sertraline and omega-3 fatty acids did not result in superior depression outcomes at 10 weeks, compared with sertraline and placebo. Whether higher doses of omega-3 or sertraline, a different ratio of EPA to DHA, longer treatment, or omega-3 monotherapy can improve depression in patients with CHD remains to be determined.
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00116857.