Which drug-drug interactions may be present with the use of antidepressants in elderly patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Aug 06, 2020
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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In the elderly, drug-drug interactions are a concern with particular SSRIs because polypharmacy is common in this age group. Of the SSRIs, the likelihood of drug-drug interaction is highest with fluoxetine, paroxetine, and fluvoxamine. The specific interactions of these medications and medications commonly used in the elderly (eg, certain antibiotics, warfarin) are well established and available in many reference books.

SSRIs should be used in the elderly only with consideration by a physician familiar with these types of medications. The SSRIs that offer a lower likelihood of drug-drug interactions include escitalopram, citalopram, and sertraline. These medications should be used as first-line treatment in the elderly or in patients where drug-drug interaction is a concern.

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