The patients rated as "improved" on sertraline reported better quality of life than the ones who "improved" on placebo.The authors of the study argued that the improvement achieved with sertraline is different and of a better quality than the improvement achieved with placebo.Most antidepressants are generally safe, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all antidepressants carry black box warnings, the strictest warnings for prescriptions.
A 1998 review suggested that, due to its pharmacology, sertraline may be more efficacious than other SSRIs and equal to TCAs for the treatment of melancholic depression.
In spite of lower subjective rating, that is, feeling that they performed worse, no clinically relevant differences were observed in the objective cognitive performance in a group of people treated for depression with sertraline for 1.5 years as compared to healthy controls.
In children and adolescents taking sertraline for six weeks for anxiety disorders, 18 out of 20 measures of memory, attention and alertness stayed unchanged.
Of the sertraline group, 4.5% gained a large amount of weight (defined as more than 7% gain).
This result compares favorably with placebo, where, according to the literature, 3–6% of patients gained more than 7% of their initial weight.