AIM To evaluate the role of personality dimensions as predictors of drinking outcomes in depressed alcohol-dependent patients. METHODS Temperament and character inventory (TCI) scores were obtained at baseline in a 24-week study of 127 depressed alcohol-dependent patients who received open-label naltrexone and were randomized to citalopram or placebo. The association between TCI personality dimensions and alcohol outcomes during follow-up was examined using general linear mixed models. RESULTS Low novelty seeking, high self-directedness and high cooperativeness predicted less alcohol consumption on drinking days during follow-up. Temperament and character variables had no effect on the percentage of days abstinent from alcohol. Depression mediated the effects of self-directedness and cooperativeness on alcohol outcomes while the effect of novelty seeking remained after adjusting for depression scores in follow-up. CONCLUSION Identifying personality characteristics at baseline predicts drinking outcomes in depressed, alcohol-dependent patients. In particular patients with high novelty seeking drank more heavily on drinking days and they may therefore need more intensive intervention to achieve good treatment outcomes.