Dementia And Anti Depressants

July 21, 2011 by staff 

Dementia And AntidepressantsDementia And Antidepressants, According to a new study published in the medical journal The Lancet on Tuesday, two antidepressants are commonly given to patients with Alzheimer’s disease appear to be not only ineffective but may give side effects like nausea and drowsiness. Researchers urged doctors to think twice before prescribing these drugs to Alzheimer’s patients with depression.

The two drugs used in the study were sertraline, marketed by Pfizer under the brand name Zoloft (sertraline), and mirtazapine, also known as Remeron in the United States. “The two classes of antidepressants may be prescribed for depression in Alzheimer’s disease are no more effective than placebo (fake no medicinal value),” wrote the researchers, led by Professor Sube Banerjee at the Institute of Psychiatry Kings College London. “In our study, there were more adverse events in subjects treated with antidepressants than those who had placebo.” They urged doctors and researchers to rethink the way they treat Alzheimer’s patients with depression and to reconsider routine prescripteion antidepressants.

The team recruited 326 patients from nine clinical centers Alzheimer’s in Britain who were diagnosed with depression for at least four weeks. Divided into three groups, 107 of them received sertraline, mirtazapine, 108 and 111 received placebos. One group received 150 milligrams (mg) per day of sertraline, a second group received 45 mg per day of mirtazapine, and a third took a sugar pill (placebo).

After 39 weeks, researchers found no significant differences among the three groups when the decreased levels of depression. Instead, more patients receiving both drugs adverse reactions compared with placebo recipients.

In the group of sertraline, 43 percent of patients reported having gastrointestinal reactions such as nausea, while 41 percent who received mirtazapine complained of drowsiness and sedation. Only 26 percent taking placebo reported feeling ill.

Dr. Henry Brodaty, a specialist in aging and dementia at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and author of an accompanying journal editorial, said the trial “, stressed the need for physicians to think creative alternatives to drug therapy for management of depression in people with dementia. “It is important to use techniques based on evidence and work with family caregivers, wrote.

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