Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2017 May;15(2):126-131. 10.9758/cpn.2017.15.2.126.

Effects of Escitalopram on Anxiety in Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea.
  • 2Department of Cardiology, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea.


OBJECTIVE: There are no evidence-based practices for treating anxiety in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Thus, we investigated the effects of escitalopram on anxiety in this population.
We enrolled 217 patients with ACS who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) criteria for depressive disorders into a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. Patients received either escitalopram or placebo over a 24-week period. Anxiety symptoms were evaluated using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-anxiety subscale (HADS-A). A HADS-A score >7 was classified as an anxiety disorder. Baseline evaluations included sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, such as depressive symptoms, cardiovascular risk factors, and current cardiac status.
Independent of improvements in depression and without any differences in safety profiles, escitalopram treatment was significantly more efficacious in treating and reducing anxiety than placebo over a 24-week period.
Escitalopram can be recommended as an effective and safe treatment option for anxiety in patients with ACS.


Acute coronary syndrome; Anxiety; Depression; Escitalopram; Double-blind study
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