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Multicenter double blind study of paroxetine and amitriptyline in elderly depressed inpatients


Paroxetine is a phenylpiperidine compound which is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Ninety-one hospitalised patients with a major depression (DSM-III) aged 65 and over from six Austrian and one German center were entered into the study, which compared the efficacy and tolerability of paroxetine versus amitriptyline. After 6 weeks both groups showed similarly good therapeutic results. In the paroxetine group, 64.3% of the patients had a 50% or more reduction of the HAMD total score compared to 58.1% in the amitriptyline group. Side effects were distributed similarly in both groups. Patients in the paroxetine group showed a higher incidence of anxiety and agitation; anticholinergic side effects were registered more often in the amitriptyline group.

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Correspondence to C. Geretsegger.

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Geretsegger, C., Fartacek, R., Stuppaeck, C.H. et al. Multicenter double blind study of paroxetine and amitriptyline in elderly depressed inpatients. Psychopharmacology 119, 277–281 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02246291

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Key words

  • Paroxetine
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • Depression
  • Elderly patients
  • Amitriptyline