Swedish research casts doubt on efficiency of anti-depressants in treatments of elderly

January 28, 2015 6:37 am 

STOCKHOLM, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) — Anti-depressants may not help elderly people overcome depression, a Swedish study shows.

The study by SBU – the Swedish body that assesses health care interventions – shows that many people aged 65 and above do not respond to anti-depressant medication. Instead, psychological treatments, like mild forms of cognitive behavioral therapy, could be more effective.

In the short term, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are no more effective than sugar pills that are used as placebos, SBU found.

Another form of anti-depressant – serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) – is slightly more effective for elderly people with recurring depressions. However, SNRIs also carry side-effects like vertigo, dry mouth, diarrhea and constipation.

Treatments relying on simple forms of cognitive behavioral therapy was the only form of psychological intervention that SBU found could reduce symptoms of depression among elderly people. In cases of mild depression, physical activity could also help, though SBU did not find a study to support that theory. (PNA/Xinhua)

LAP/EDS

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