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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1986 Jun;34(6):421-6.

Effective low dose tricyclic antidepressant treatment for depressed geriatric rehabilitation patients. A double-blind study.


The efficacy of low doses (10 to 20 mg daily) of doxepin in the treatment of depressive disorders in elderly inpatients was assessed by a double-blind study in 24 patients. The patients were treated for a three-week period to test for an early response. The Hamilton Depression Scale and the Geriatric Depression Scale were used to quantify symptoms of depression. The patients treated with doxepin had a significantly greater reduction in depressive symptoms than did those who received a placebo. No side effects were found and there were no major differences in the degree of physical dependency between the doxepin and placebo groups. A depressive disorder is a common occurrence among elderly inpatients and the effectiveness of low dose doxepin therapy without demonstrable side effects argues for the active treatment for this condition.

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