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A placebo-controlled comparison of nortriptyline and phenelzine in maintenance therapy of elderly depressed patients.

Author(s): Georgotas A, McCue RE, Cooper TB

Affiliation(s): Depression Studies Program, New York University School of Medicine, New York.

Publication date & source: 1989-09, Arch Gen Psychiatry., 46(9):783-6.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Comparative Study ; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

Fifty-one elderly depressed outpatients who had responded to antidepressants and completed continuation therapy were observed under double-blind conditions for 1 year. Twenty-three had been switched to placebo, while 13 and 15 took nortriptyline hydrochloride and phenelzine sulfate, respectively. Patients administered phenelzine did significantly better with 13.3% recurrences than patients administered either nortriptyline (53.8% recurrences) or placebo (65.2% recurrences). In addition, patients who had higher Hamilton scores and who had an earlier age of onset of the first depressive episode were significantly more likely to have recurrences.

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