10000567 J Clin Psychiatry / Document Archive

Psychiatrist.com Home    Keyword Search

Close [X]

Search Our Sites

Enter search terms below (keywords, titles, authors, or subjects). Then select a category to search and press the Search button. All words are assumed to be required. To search for an exact phrase, put it in quotes. To exclude a term, precede it with a minus sign (-).

Keyword search:

Choose a category:

Choosing the appropriate category will greatly improve your chances of finding the best match.

All files at our sites: J Clin Psychiatry, Primary Care Companion, CME Institute, and MedFair

Search materials from our journals:

Abstracts from The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1996–present, both regular issues and supplements

PDFs of the full text of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1996–present, both regular issues and supplements (Net Society Platinum [paid subscribers])

PDFs of the full text of The Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1999–present

Search CME offerings:

CME Institute, including CME from journals , supplements, and Web activities for instant CME credit (Net Society Gold [registered users]); also includes information about our CME program

CME activities from regular issues of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Net Society Gold [registered users])

CME Supplements from The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Net Society Gold [registered users])


The article you requested is

Duration of Therapy and Health Care Costs of Fluoxetine, Paroxetine, and Sertraline in 6 Health Plans.

J Clin Psychiatry 2002;63:156-164
Copyright 2002 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

To view this item, select one of the options below.

    1. Purchase this PDF for $40
      If you are not a paid subscriber, you may purchase the PDF.
      (You'll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
    2. Subscribe
      Receive immediate full-text access to JCP. You can subscribe to JCP print + online for $166 individual.
      JCP's 75th AnniversaryCelebrate!
      Celebrate JCP's 75th Anniversary with a special online-only subscription price of $75.
    1. Activate
      If you are a paid subscriber to JCP and do not yet have a username and password, activate your subscription now.
    2. Sign in
      As a paid subscriber who has activated your subscription, you have access to the HTML and PDF versions of this item.
  1. Did you forget your password?

Still can't log in? Contact the Circulation Department at 1-800-489-1001 x4 or send an email


Background: Previous studies comparing fluoxetine, paroxetine, and sertraline, the 3 most common selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), in naturalistic settings have produced conflicting results. With this study, we provide new evidence as to the similarities and differences among these SSRI therapies with respect to the duration of use and health care costs.

Method: Data from 6 health maintenance organizations were used to identify patients with new-onset major depression, number of days with filled prescriptions, and total health care and depression-related costs. The sample consisted of 1771 patients given initial prescriptions for sertraline (N = 386), fluoxetine (N = 840), or paroxetine (N = 545) in the period from July 1, 1994, to March 31, 1997. Analyses included Cox proportional hazards models (for duration of initial therapy) and ordinary least squares regression (for cost).

Results: Patients who initiated therapy with fluoxetine were more likely to have a later interruption of therapy than patients who initiated therapy with sertraline (p = .03) and paroxetine (p = .001). Total 1-year costs did not differ statistically between the treatment groups, but 1-year depression-related costs were significantly lower for patients who initiated therapy with sertraline or paroxetine than for those who initiated therapy with fluoxetine ($332 less for sertraline, 95% confidence interval [CI] = $125 to $562; $339 less for paroxetine, 95% CI = $144 to $416).

Limitations: A limitation of this observational study, as well as of observational studies in general, is that unobserved characteristics of the patients may lead to biased estimates of the impact of treatment on adherence or cost, even with controls for observed characteristics.

Conclusion: We found no significant differences in total health care costs among the 3 SSRIs, but noted significant differences in depression-related costs (the costs of fluoxetine are greater than those of sertraline and paroxetine). Importantly, there was no relationship between treatment interruption and increased health care or depression-related costs, in contrast to the findings of some, but not all, prior studies.