New antidepressants 'may be harmful to seniors'

New antidepressants 'may be harmful to seniors'

Newer antidepressants, know as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) could be more harmful to older people than an older group of the medication, according to research, potentially leaving more in need of assisted living.

Research published on bmj.com found that people taking SSRIs were at a 10.6 per cent chance of all-cause mortality, in comparison to those on the older tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), who were at an 8.1 per cent risk.

Furthermore, the medication was also seen to be associated with an increased risk stroke, falls, fracture, epilepsy or seizures and hyponatraemia.

In an editorial, the University of Sydney's Professor Ian Hickie, said: "The study has clear implications for more informed prescribing and enhanced clinical monitoring.

"Given the potential harms, the decision to prescribe for an older person with depression should not be taken lightly."

In other news, partaking in positive activities may be a low-cost method of combating the mental health condition, according to research from the University of California and Duke University Medical Center.

Read about support and personalised care at Barchester care homes for anyone with mental health concerns.