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Atypical antipsychotics as add-on treatment in late-life depression

Authors Cakir S, Senkal Z

Received 3 June 2016

Accepted for publication 6 July 2016

Published 9 September 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1193—1198


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Sibel Cakir,1 Zeynep Senkal2

1Department of Psychiatry, Mood Disorders, Geriatric Psychiatry Unit, Istanbul Medical School, Istanbul University, 2Department of Psychiatry, Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey

Background: Second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) have been used in the augmentation of treatment-resistant depression. However, little is known about their effectiveness, tolerability, and adverse events in the treatment of late-life depression, which were the aim of this study.
Methods: The retrospective data of patients aged >65 years who had a major depressive episode with inadequate response to antidepressant treatment and had adjuvant SGA treatment were analyzed. The outcome measures were the number of the patients who continued to use SGAs in the fourth and twelfth weeks, adverse events, and changes in symptoms of depression.
Results: Thirty-five patients were screened: 21 (60%) had quetiapine, twelve (34.28%) had aripiprazole, and two (5.71%) had olanzapine adjuvant treatment. The mean age was 72.17±5.02 years, and 65.7% of the patients were women. The mean daily dose was 85.71±47.80 mg for quetiapine, 3.33±1.23 mg for aripiprazole, and 3.75±1.76 mg for olanzapine. The Geriatric Depression Scale scores of all patients were significantly decreased in the fourth week and were significant in the aripiprazole group (P=0.02). Of the 35 patients, 23 (65.7%) patients discontinued the study within 12 weeks. The frequency of adverse events was similar in all SGAs, and the most common were sedation, dizziness, constipation, and orthostatic hypotension with quetiapine, and akathisia and headache because of aripiprazole.
Conclusion: This study indicates that dropout ratio of patients with SGAs is high, and a subgroup of patients with late-life depression may benefit from SGAs. Effectiveness is significant in aripiprazole, and adverse events of SGAs were not serious but common in elderly patients.

Keywords: treatment resistance, aripiprazole, quetiapine, olanzapine, elderly

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