Background: Lithium augmentation (LA) of antidepressants is an effective strategy for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Nevertheless, it is rarely used in geriatric patients. The purpose of this study was to investigate treatment response of LA in geriatric compared to non-geriatric patients.
Method: In a prospective multicenter cohort study, severity of depression was measured weekly in 167 patients with unipolar depression (nage≥65years = 22; nage<65years = 145) at baseline and over at least four weeks of LA.
Results: Geriatric patients showed a significantly better response to LA compared to non-geriatric patients (Hazard Ratio = 1.91; p = 0.04).
Limitations: An important limitation of our study is the lack of a control group of LA and the missing evaluation of side effects in both groups.
Conclusions: This is the first study investigating the efficacy of LA for TRD in geriatric compared to non-geriatric patients. Our data suggest that LA is an effective treatment option in geriatric patients that clinicians might consider more frequently and earlier on in the course of treatment.
Keywords: Efficacy; Geriatric patients; Lithium augmentation; Treatment-resistant depression.
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