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Depressive disorder in those over the age of 60 has many clinical similarities to depression in younger adults, but biological changes related to ageing may necessitate a different approach to treatment. We present an evidence-based review of treatment for late-life depression, focusing on pharmacological approaches, including monotherapy, combination and augmentation strategies. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as sertraline and citalopram are well tolerated, have the advantage of a favourable side-effect profile, and are good options for first-line treatment. Second-line treatment options include combination therapy with a second antidepressant, or treatment augmentation with an antipsychotic or lithium. We also consider evidence for non-pharmacological treatment strategies, including psychological therapy and neurostimulation. Finally, we summarise evidence for treatment of depression in patients in dementia.

Original publication




Journal article


Advances in Psychiatric Treatment

Publication Date





302 - 309