Coprescribed benzodiazepines in older adults receiving antidepressants for anxiety and depressive disorders: Association with treatment outcomes

By Altmann H, Stahl ST, Gebara MA, et al.
Published September 30, 2020

Key Takeaways

In older patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or major depressive disorder (MDD), researchers aimed at determining the effect of benzodiazepines on treatment outcomes via this transdiagnostic analysis. Using data from two clinical trials of antidepressant pharmacotherapy for GAD (escitalopram vs placebo, 2006–2009) or MDD (open treatment with venlafaxine, 2009–2014), researchers conducted a secondary analysis. Six hundred forty adults aged 60+ years with DSM-IV–defined GAD (n = 177) or MDD (n = 463) were the participants. Findings revealed increased dropout in older patients with GAD as well as greater medication-related adverse effects in older patients with MDD in correlation with receiving coprescription of benzodiazepines. However, with the systematic clinical attention provided in a clinical trial, treatment response was not hindered. Based on findings, they emphasized that clinicians need to know that there may be a more challenging treatment course when a benzodiazepine is coprescribed.

Read the full article on Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

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