Methylphenidate-enhanced antidepressant response to citalopram in the elderly: a double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2006 Feb;14(2):181-5. doi: 10.1097/01.JGP.0000192503.10692.9f.


Objective: The authors evaluated the potential of methylphenidate to accelerate and enhance antidepressant response to citalopram in elderly depressed patients.

Methods: Sixteen outpatients with major depression were treated in a 10-week double-blind trial. Response was defined as a score on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (24-item) of less than 10.

Results: An accelerated response was observed by week 3 in five subjects receiving citalopram (CIT)+methylphenidate (MPH) and in none of those receiving CIT+placebo (PBO). Subjects receiving citalopram and methylphenidate showed a significant improvement in depressive symptoms compared with those on citalopram and placebo.

Conclusion: Combined treatment with citalopram and methylphenidate appears to be a viable strategy for accelerating and enhancing antidepressant response in elderly depressed patients limited by tolerability and safety.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / administration & dosage
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use*
  • Citalopram / administration & dosage
  • Citalopram / therapeutic use*
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Synergism
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methylphenidate / administration & dosage
  • Methylphenidate / therapeutic use*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pilot Projects
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Citalopram
  • Methylphenidate