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How Long Should the Elderly Take Antidepressants?: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study of Continuation/Prophylaxis Therapy with Dothiepin

Abstract

Of 219 elderly patients with a major depressive disorder (meeting RDC), 69 recovered sufficiently and consented to enter a two-year double-blind placebo-controlled trial of dothiepin. Survival analysis revealed that dothiepin reduced the relative risk of relapse by two and a half times. Past but not current serious physical illness was also associated with a favourable outcome, whereas a prolonged index depressive illness trebled the relative risk of relapse. In the light of previous research on prognosis it is suggested that elderly persons who recover from a major depressive illness should continue with antidepressant medication for at least two years, if not indefinitely.

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How Long Should the Elderly Take Antidepressants?: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study of Continuation/Prophylaxis Therapy with Dothiepin

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