New Drug Combo Fights Depression in Older Adults
Combining an antidepressant with an antipsychotic drug could be an effective way to treat clinical depression in older adults who have not responded to regular treatment.
To conduct their study, published in The Lancet, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh assessed 468 people over the age of 60 who had been diagnosed with depression. To start, each participant took the antidepressant drug venlafaxine for 12 weeks. After 12 weeks, roughly half of the participants were still clinically depressed. The researchers then gave the participants who had not responded to the antidepressant either aripiprazole (an antipsychotic drug) or a placebo to take alongside venlafaxine.
The results showed that the two-drug combination led to improved symptoms in 44 percent of the patients who had not responded to venlafaxine alone. In comparison, 29 percent of the participants who received the placebo experienced remission of their depression.
The research team’s next step to find a way to discern which patients are likely to benefit from this new form of treatment.