When ageing meets the blues: Are current antidepressants effective in depressed aged patients?
Twenty-eight elderly inpatients suffering from major depressive episodes (diagnosed according to DSM III) received randomly, on a double-blind basis, amitriptyline (75 mg/die) or fluoxetine (20 mg/die) for five weeks. There were four drop-outs in the amitriptyline group and two drop-outs in the fluoxetine group. Both groups showed a significant amelioration at the end point for Hamilton Rating Scale of Depression scores compared to the baseline value. Anticholinergic side-effects were significantly more severe in the amitriptyline group. Weight gain was detected only in patients receiving amitriptyline.