Previous studies have found a connection between psychiatric problems and post-hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) complications. We sought to evaluate the effect of sertraline on engraftment time, hospitalization period, mortality, and post-transplantation complications in HSCT recipients with depression and/or anxiety. We recruited adults aged 18–60, who were candidates for autologous or allogeneic HSCT with major depression and/or anxiety disorder. They were administered 50 mg of sertraline or placebo daily for the first week, and then 100 mg for the following seven weeks. We documented occurrence and severity of early post-HSCT complications, including infection, mucositis, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, pain, renal toxicities and liver complications, acute graft-versus-host disease, and veno-occlusive disease, as well as time to engraftment, length of hospitalization and 6-month mortality. Overall, 56 patients participated in the study (sertraline group n = 30, placebo group n = 26). Of the complications, only mortality and readmission up to 6 months post-transplantation were significantly higher in the placebo group compared to sertraline group (P values = 0.040, 0.028, respectively). There were no significant differences for other complications between the groups. Mean engraftment time was significantly lower in the sertraline group (P value = 0.048). This study provides evidence that sertraline positively influences engraftment time, readmission, and mortality after HSCT.
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