An open treatment trial of venlafaxine for elderly patients with dysthymic disorder

J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 2004 Dec;17(4):219-24. doi: 10.1177/0891988704269818.


Treatment response and side effects of venlafaxine were evaluated in an open-label trial of elderly outpatients with dysthymic disorder (DD). Patients received flexible dose (up to 300 mg/d) venlafaxine (Effexor XR) for 12 weeks. Of 23 study patients, 18 completed the trial. Fourteen (60.9%) were responders in intent-to-treat analyses with the last observation carried forward, and 77.8% were responders in completer analyses. Nearly half the sample (47.8%) met criteria for remission. In the intent-to-treat sample, increased severity of depression at baseline was associated with superior response, and the presence of cardiovascular disease was associated with poorer response. Venlafaxine open-label treatment was associated with fairly high response rates and generally good tolerability in elderly patients with DD. These results indicate that in elderly patients with DD, placebo-controlled trials of a dual reuptake inhibitor such as venlafaxine would be needed to assess its efficacy or to compare its efficacy to that of other antidepressants.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cyclohexanols / administration & dosage
  • Cyclohexanols / therapeutic use*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Dysthymic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Dysthymic Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Venlafaxine Hydrochloride


  • Cyclohexanols
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Venlafaxine Hydrochloride