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Minerva Psichiatrica 2000 March;41(1):41-6

language: Italian

Major depression in elderly patients. Evaluation of the clinical efficacy of citalopram

Scotta M., Zanalda E., Rocca P., Mazzucco M., Ravizza L.


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Background and aim. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of citalopram in the treatment of major depression in the elderly.
Materials and methods. A total of 20 patients attending the Psychiatric Clinic of Turin University were enrolled in this study with a diagnosis of major depressive episode according to DSM IV. Patients were treated in an open protocol using 20 mg/die of citalopram for 8 weeks. The instruments used to make the evaluation were: a semi-structured clinical interview, Hamilton Rating Scale for depression and anxiety, Clinical Global Impression of severity and improvement and the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale. These parameters were assessed every two weeks. The scores obtained were analysed using analysis of variance for repeated measures (ANOVA).
Results. All 20 patients enrolled in the study completed the eight-week analysis. Variations in the average scores for the evaluation tests at the various stages were all statistically significant. At the end of the study 70% of patients showed a full recovery.
Conclusions. The results obtained from this study suggest that citalopram should be regarded as one of the drugs of first choice for the treatment of depression in the elderly on account of its selective action on the serotoninergic system without significant interactions with other neurotransmitter systems, and the low incidence of collateral effects and good tolerability which enables both acute and also long-term treatment of depression.

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