Randomized, single-blind, trial of sertraline and buspirone for treatment of elderly patients with generalized anxiety disorder

Department of Psychiatry, Avicenna Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences (Impact Factor: 1.63). 04/2010; 64(2):128-33. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2009.02055.x
Source: PubMed


Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in elderly people is common, but few systematic studies regarding the best treatments have been performed. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of sertraline and buspirone in the treatment of elderly patients with GAD.
Based on selection criteria, 46 patients were recruited who met DSM-IV criteria for GAD. Patients were randomly assigned to sertraline (50-100 mg/day) or buspirone (10-15 mg/day) for 8 weeks in a single-blind trial. The primary outcome measure used in the present study was the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HRSA).
Both sertraline and buspirone had significant anxiolytic efficacy. A steady decrease in the total HRSA scores for both groups was observed throughout the study period. After 2 and 4 weeks, buspirone was found to be significantly superior to sertraline (P < 0.001), but at the end of study period this difference did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.16). The mean HRSA score after 8 weeks significantly decreased in subjects treated with sertraline (P < 0.001), and buspirone (P < 0.001). No clinically adverse events or changes in laboratory test results were observed during the study period.
Both sertraline and buspirone appear to be efficacious and well tolerated in the treatment of GAD in elderly patients. Further studies with larger sample size, evaluating the effect of medical illness, cognitive impairment, depression, and combined therapy with support and psychotherapy are needed.

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Available from: Malcolm Hopwood, Nov 20, 2014
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