Pharmacologic and psychological interventions for depression treatment in patients with kidney disease

L. Parker Gregg, S. Susan Hedayati

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: It remains controversial whether existing therapies, including pharmacologic and psychological interventions, are effective for treatment of depression in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage kidney disease. RECENT FINDINGS: Most studies of depression treatment were underpowered or uncontrolled. The CKD Antidepressant Sertraline Trial showed no benefit of a serotonin-selective reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sertraline, over double-blind matched placebo for the treatment of depressive symptoms in patients with nondialysis CKD. A Trial of Sertraline vs. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for End-stage Renal Disease Patients with Depression showed improvement in depressive symptoms from baseline in both groups and a marginal benefit of sertraline over CBT that was of unclear clinical significance, given the lack of an active control group. SSRIs are associated with poor tolerability in clinical trials and serious adverse outcomes in large retrospective studies. SUMMARY: Although the data do not support unlimited use of SSRIs in patients with CKD or end-stage kidney disease, it is reasonable to initiate a cautious trial of sertraline while closely monitoring for depressive symptom improvement and adverse effects. CBT is a low-risk, possibly effective intervention to treat major depressive disorder in patients with kidney disease who have access to such treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-464
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent opinion in nephrology and hypertension
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Nephrology


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