What is the recommended administration of antidepressants in elderly patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Oct 07, 2019
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

Start antidepressant medications at a lower dose (often, half the usual dose) in the elderly, and titrate more slowly than in younger adults. Furthermore, customary practice is to give the elderly patient a longer trial (12 wk vs customary 6-8 wk) before increasing the dose, changing the medication, or labeling it a failure. However, the need to wait 12 weeks remains a point of controversy and is undergoing more research.


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