Safety of antidepressants in the elderly

Until the 1980s, the two major classes of antidepressants, the tricyclics and the monoamine oxidase inhibitors, were effective but had severe side effects, requiring monitoring by psychiatrists

Barbara R Sommer

2005

Scholarcy highlights

  • Until the 1980s, the two major classes of antidepressants, the tricyclics and the monoamine oxidase inhibitors, were effective but had severe side effects, requiring monitoring by psychiatrists
  • The past several years have brought new classes of antidepressants that are safer for the patient to take and far easier for the non-psychiatrist to prescribe
  • Whilst this is of enormous value, it leaves the physician with the dilemma of which one to prescribe
  • This paper will discuss each of the antidepressants presently available, with particular emphasis on safety in the elderly
  • The authors will advise a general strategy for prescribing antidepressants

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