A nurse practitioner (NP) was trying to determine which antidepressant would be the best to use in a 75-year-old patient. The patient had undergone trials with mirtazapine, amitriptyline, and fluvoxamine with no positive outcomes. The NP wanted to know what other antidepressants could be used in this particular patient.

Pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy each have been found to be effective in the treatment of depression in geriatric patients, but when used in combination, they have the potential to produce optimal therapeutic outcomes. The associated risks of pharmacotherapy may lead to the selection of psychotherapy as the preferred treatment of choice in geriatric depression. The use of psychotherapy in the geriatric population has demonstrated improved adherence and lower dropout rates compared with pharmacologic interventions, as well as positive therapeutic responses. (193-1)

Abimbola Farinde, PhD, PharmD, is a professor at Columbia Southern University in Orange Beach, Ala.

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