Seniors may drop antidepressants because of side effects from other drugs, study finds

Share this article:

Many American seniors begin taking antidepressants while on medications with contraindications, according to a new study. Because of side effects, many then stop taking the antidepressants.

A study conducted by Thompson Reuters, the University of Southern California and drugmaker Sanofi Aventis found that among American seniors who were first-time antidepressant takers, more than half started taking them while on other contraindicated drugs. Due to resulting side effects, one quarter of them discontinued the antidepressant.

The investigators used information from a database of Medicare claims, where they discovered that 39,000 patients started taking antidepressants between 2001 and 2006. More than 25% of these patients were taking antidepressants in addition to other medications that could cause major drug interactions. Thirty-six percent of these patients were prescribed antidepressants while taking other medications that could cause moderate reactions. A total of 45% of seniors who reported side effects refilled their prescriptions, according to the study whose results were published online in The American Journal of General Psychiatry.

Share this article:

More in News

Skilled nursing facility trends contribute to improved Medicare outlook, Congressional report says

The Medicare trust fund is on track to remain solvent until 2030, trustees of the program stated in a Congressional report released Monday. This improved outlook is due in part to revised expectations about the case mix in skilled nursing facilities.

House bill would define, promote coordinated long-term care services

A bill introduced in the House of Representatives would target improved care coordination for seniors, also adding it under the Older Americans Act.

Seize the day: Tech Awards deadline is tomorrow

Seize the day: Tech Awards deadline is tomorrow

The final countdown has begun: Long-term care providers have less than 48 hours to enter the third annual McKnight's Excellence in Technology Awards. Submissions will be accepted through July 30.