Late-Life Depression Can Be Slow to Respond to Treatment
Late-life depression can be difficult to treat, and in elderly patients, response to antidepressant therapy can vary considerably, new research suggests. In a study that looked at longitudinal patterns of changes in depressive symptoms in older adults prescribed the antidepressant venlafaxine XR (Effexor XR, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc), severe baseline depression tended to predict lack of response after 12 weeks of treatment. However, some patients with severe pretreatment depression did respond, which led the investigators to conclude that high depression severity alone may not be a completely accurate predictor of treatment response.
@haran More than 50% of older adults with late-life major depression fail to respond to initial treatment with first-line pharmacotherapy. This prompted Dr Smagula and his group to look at typical patterns of response to venlafaxine XR, which is the antidepressant most prescribed for older adults, and also to evaluate which clinical factors are associated with response patterns. They applied group-based trajectory modeling to examine the response to venlafaxine in the Incomplete Response in Late-Life Depression: Getting to Remission (IRLGREY) Study, a three-site open-label trial.