Anxiolytics, sedatives, and older patients

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Citations (Scopus)


Newer antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and other dual-action compounds (eg, mirtazapine), are currently considered the first-line treatment for several anxiety disorders and mixed anxiety/depression syndromes in younger patients. Although anxiety syndromes as a group are the most common psychiatric conditions in late life, controlled trials of anxiolytics in older patients are relatively sparse. While the controlled trials of these newer agents in the elderly are expected to be conducted over the next decade, clinical experience of geriatric psychiatrists suggests similar efficacy of these compounds in late-life anxiety syndromes. Because of their favorable adverse-effect profiles, the newer antidepressants seem to be much better tolerated by older people than many of the anxiolytic medications used in the past. Short-acting benzodiazepines can be useful adjuncts or alternative treatment strategies in selected circumstances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-54
Number of pages4
JournalPrimary Psychiatry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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