Treatment responses to citalopram were comparable among older and younger adults with major depressive disorder, according to recent findings.
“In many health conditions, younger patients experience better recovery than elderly patients. This study shows that patients with major depressive disorder can experience improvement in functioning and quality of life after treatment, no matter their age,” study researcher Waguih William IsHak, MD, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, said in a press release.
To assess quality of life, functioning and depressive symptom severity in older (age, 65 years) and younger (< 65 years) adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) after citalopram treatment, researchers conducted a retrospective secondary data analysis of the STAR*D study. Analysis included 2,280 nonpsychotic adults, of whom 106 were older adults, with DSM-4-TR-defined MDD. Participants received citalopram monotherapy.
Older and younger adults exhibited significant improvements and medium to large treatment responses for quality of life, functioning and depressive symptom severity (P < .001).
Treatment effect sizes were smaller for all outcomes among older adults, particularly functioning.
However, participants had comparable mean change scores from baseline to study end for all outcomes.
The researchers concluded that contrary to previous research, there was no significant treatment response difference observed between older and younger adults, with the caveat that baseline depression scores were lower for younger adults.
This study, they added, “provides new clinical information to clinicians and offers hope that older adults may benefit from citalopram monotherapy to treat depression, increase [quality of life] and improve functioning. Additionally, the current study suggests that [quality of life] and functioning are accurate indicators for remission rates and that interventions designed to improve [quality of life] and functioning are important in treating MDD.” – by Amanda Oldt
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.