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Br J Psychiatry. 2002 Jul;181:29-35.

Efficacy of citalopram in the prevention of recurrent depression in elderly patients: placebo-controlled study of maintenance therapy.

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  • 1Psychiatric Research Clinic, Frederiksberg Hospital, Denmark. International Clinical Research, H. Lundbeck A/S, Denmark.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The highly recurrent nature of major depression in the young and the elderly warrants long-term antidepressant treatment.

AIMS:

To compare the prophylactic efficacy of citalopram and placebo in elderly patients; to evaluate long-term tolerability of citalopram.

METHOD:

Out-patients, > or =65 years, with unipolar major depression (DSM-IV: 296.2 x or 296.3 x) and Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale score > or =22 were treated with citalopram 20-40 mg for 8 weeks. Responders continued on their final fixed dose of citalopram for 16 weeks before randomisation to double-blind treatment with citalopram or placebo for at least 48 weeks.

RESULTS:

Nineteen of the 60 patients using citalopram v. 41 of the 61 patients using placebo had recurrence. Time to recurrence was significantly different between citalopram- and placebo-patients, in favour of citalopram (log-rank test, P<0.0001). Long-term treatment was well tolerated.

CONCLUSIONS:

Long-term treatment with citalopram is effective in preventing recurrence of depression in the elderly and is well tolerated.

Comment in

PMID:
12091260
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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