Reducing depression in the elderly

June 2023

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Depression is common in older adults. But treatment with standard drugs, called antidepressants, doesn’t always work. When depression persists after trying several of these medications, it’s still unclear which approach is best.

Researchers studied more than 600 adults aged 60 and older with intractable depression. The participants were divided into three groups. One group added the drug aripiprazole (Abilify) to their prescribed antidepressants. The second group was supplemented with an antidepressant called bupropion (Wellbutrin). The third group stopped taking the prescribed antidepressant and switched to bupropion.

After 10 weeks, the aripiprazole group showed the most improvement. They had a significant increase in health compared to the group that switched to bupropion. The groups that took either of the two added drugs had fewer depressive symptoms than the group that switched to bupropion. Symptoms improved in 29% of patients who received the addition of aripiprazole and 28% of those who received the addition of bupropion. But they only improved in 19% of those who switched to bupropion.

Lead researcher Dr. Eric J. Lenze of the University of Washington at the University of Washington, said: “Typically, unless a patient responds to the first-line treatment prescribed for depression, doctors Doctors will follow a pattern where they try one treatment after another until they find one that works. Saint Louis. “It would be helpful to have an evidence-based strategy that we can rely on to help patients feel better as quickly as possible.”


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