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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1992 Sep;40(9):902-5.

Fluoxetine in elderly patients: is there cause for concern?

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  • 1Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Medical Center, California.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess whether fluoxetine use is associated with significant weight loss or other side effects in depressed elderly patients with concomitant medical illness.

DESIGN:

A retrospective chart review.

SETTING:

A tertiary care VA hospital.

PATIENTS:

Five groups of outpatients were studied: (1) patients greater than 75 years old receiving fluoxetine (n = 15); (2) patients 60 to 71 years old receiving fluoxetine (n = 20); (3) patients greater than 75 years old receiving nortryptiline or desipramine (n = 20); (4) patients greater than 75 years old with a history of depression but on no antidepressant medication (n = 20); and (5) patients greater than 75 years old with no history of depression (n = 28).

MEASUREMENTS:

Mortality, change in weight, reports of anorexia or nausea, and serum sodium and glucose measurements.

MAIN RESULTS:

Patients greater than 75 years of age taking fluoxetine experienced significantly greater weight loss (average 4.6 kilograms, P = 0.0062) than the other groups. Both groups of patients taking fluoxetine were significantly more likely to report nausea (P = 0.0095) and anorexia (P = 0.0009). No significant differences were noted in mortality or the frequency of hypoglycemia or hyponatremia between groups.

CONCLUSION:

The frequency and degree of weight loss noted here in medically ill elderly receiving fluoxetine warrants further investigation.

PMID:
1512386
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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