Prevalence of use and appropriateness of antidepressants prescription in acutely hospitalized elderly patients

Published: 9 August 2019
Author(s): Franchi Carlotta, Rossio Raffaella, Ardoino Ilaria, Nobili Alessandro, Mannucci Pier Mannuccio, REPOSI Collaborators
Issue: August 2019
Section: Letter to the Editor

Depression is often under-recognized in older patients, even if antidepressants (AD) are commonly prescribed, with a prevalence of use that increase with ageing [1]. Nevertheless, even if a diagnosis of depression is established, inappropriate treatment can occur [2]. Beers criteria are the most widely screening tools used to detect inappropriate prescription of drugs in people aged 65 years or more [3]. Since 2010, attempts to adapt the Beers' criteria have been made in Europe [4,5]. Tricyclic drugs are the ADs to be always avoided in the elderly, owing to their anticholinergic side effects, such as cognitive impairment, delirium, urinary retention and falls [3].