Treating Depression in Older Adults

Older adults are more susceptible to side effects than younger people, so drug therapy for depression must be approached carefully.

Older people are more susceptible to side effects than younger people. Drug therapy must be approached carefully.

  • Smaller dosages as well as closer monitoring for toxic reactions are often required. It is very important to ensure that the medications are taken as prescribed. 
  • Drug interactions are a concern. The elderly use prescription drugs more than the general population.
  • Treatment can also be difficult in reluctant individuals. It is also tough in those lacking a social support system. A support system can help them with costs and transportation for visits to a doctor.

Despite these obstacles, older people usually respond well to treatment for depression. Even partial success can lead to improved quality of life and productivity. Some studies even suggest that treatment with medications is more effective in older individuals. This is compared with medications in younger people.