Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Medication May Provide Some Benefit For Older Adults With Anxiety Disorder

Date:
January 21, 2009
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Preliminary research suggests that use of the drug escitalopram provided some improvement in symptoms for older adults with generalized anxiety disorder, although the overall benefits were diminished because of nonadherence to the drug by some patients, according to a new study.

Preliminary research suggests that use of the drug escitalopram provided some improvement in symptoms for older adults with generalized anxiety disorder, although the overall benefits were diminished because of nonadherence to the drug by some patients, according to a new study.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), one of the most common psychiatric disorders in older adults, is defined by chronic, difficult-to-control worry and anxiety, with related symptoms such as muscle tension, sleep disturbance and fatigue. The prevalence of GAD is as high as 7.3 percent among community-dwelling older adults and even higher among primary care patients. Because the number of older adults in the U.S. is growing and there is a lack of effective treatment, GAD in older adults will become an increasing human and economic burden, according to background information in the article. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are effective for younger adults with GAD, but little data exist regarding the outcomes of their use by older adults.

Eric J. Lenze, M.D., of Washington University, St. Louis, and colleagues examined the effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of the SSRI escitalopram for the treatment of GAD in older adults. The study included 177 participants age 60 years or older with a diagnosis of GAD, who were randomized to receive either 10 to 20 mg/d of escitalopram (n = 85) or matching placebo (n = 92) for 12 weeks. Anxiety and other outcomes were measured using a number of assessment tools.

The researchers found that the cumulative incidence of response to treatment was higher in the escitalopram group than in the placebo group (69 percent vs. 51 percent). Participants treated with escitalopram showed greater improvement than with placebo in anxiety symptoms and role functioning, activity limitations and impairments in role and social functioning.

In the intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis, which included those who began the trial but may have dropped out, the response was not different between groups. Of the participants who received escitalopram, 16 (18.5 percent) dropped out of the study before week 12; of the participants who received placebo, 17 (18.4 percent) dropped out before week 12.

Adverse effects of escitalopram were fatigue or sleepiness, sleep disturbance and urinary symptoms.

"The lack of efficacy of escitalopram in the ITT analysis is consistent with its overall modest efficacy, diminished further by nonadherence. Given that patients with anxiety disorders are often poorly adherent to pharmacotherapy, these negative results may more accurately portray the results of treatment in clinical settings," the authors write.

"It is important for clinicians to emphasize to their anxious older patients the need for an adequate trial in which to observe any benefits, as well as the expectation and nature of adverse effects. Given the high human and economic burden of GAD, these data should provide impetus to detect and treat this common disorder. Further study is required to assess efficacy and safety over longer treatment durations."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Eric J. Lenze; Bruce L. Rollman; M. Katherine Shear; Mary Amanda Dew; Bruce G. Pollock; Caroline Ciliberti; Michelle Costantino; Sara Snyder; Peichang Shi; Edward Spitznagel; Carmen Andreescu; Meryl A. Butters; Charles F. Reynolds, III. Escitalopram for Older Adults With Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA, 2009;301(3):295-303 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Medication May Provide Some Benefit For Older Adults With Anxiety Disorder." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090120164215.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2009, January 21). Medication May Provide Some Benefit For Older Adults With Anxiety Disorder. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090120164215.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Medication May Provide Some Benefit For Older Adults With Anxiety Disorder." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090120164215.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins