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A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of Fluoxetine in Geriatric Patients With Major Depression

  • Gary D. Tollefson (a1), Janet C. Bosomworth (a1), John H. Heiligenstein (a1), Janet H. Potvin (a1) and Susan Holman (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 March 1995

Depression in the geriatric population is a frequents, serious, and potentially reversible disorder, yet relatively few blinded, controlled, antidepressant trial have been reported. A number of age-related issues complicate safe and effective pharmacotherapy. In a 6-week, double-blind trial in moderately to severely depressed (nonpsychotic) outpatients over age 60, fluoxetine (N = 335) was statistically significantly more efficacious than placebo (N = 336) in overall response (43.9% vs. 31.6%, p = .002) and remission (31.6% vs. 18.6%, p < .001) rates. Analyses of early discontinuations because of an adverse drug event revealed no statistically significantly greater rate with fluoxetine (n = 39; 11.6%) than was seen with placebo (n = 29; 8.6%). These results corroborate that major depression in an older population is responsive to antidepressant pharmacotherapy. Specifically, fluoxetine, at a conventional 20-mg dose, was both safe and effective relative to placebo in this special population.

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International Psychogeriatrics
  • ISSN: 1041-6102
  • EISSN: 1741-203X
  • URL: /core/journals/international-psychogeriatrics
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