In this investigation involving 140 adult outpatients with epilepsy and current major depressive disorder, researchers assessed the effectiveness of sertraline vs cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for depression, quality of life, seizures, and adverse treatment effects. Patients were randomized to sertraline or weekly CBT for 16 weeks. Investigators found that suicide risk at final evaluation was linked to persistent depression, but not sertraline or seizures.
After sertraline or CBT, remission of depression was seen in in over one-half of people. Improving depression benefits quality of life despite the epilepsy-related complex psychosocial disability. Serotonin reuptake inhibition in people with epilepsy does not seem to boost seizures or suicidality.