J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2009 Jun;13(1):44-48.

An Open Label Study of Mirtazapine in the Treatment of Depression with Alzheimer's Dementia

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, St. Vincent Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. jihan@catholic.ac.kr

Abstract

Depression is one of the most devastating behavioral symptoms in demented patients but there is little evidence about effective and safe pharmacotherapy. We aimed to determine the effectiveness and safety of mirtazapine in treatment of depressed patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). The consecutive patients with AD who have significant depression were assigned to an 8-week open-label, prospective study. Patients received mirtazapine 15-45 mg/day. The changes in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) scores were primary outcome measurement. The change in Clinical Global Impression-Severity scale (CGI-S) scores and tolerability-safety profile were the secondary efficacy variables. Thirty-two out of 38 (84.2%) patients completed the study. There was a significant reduction in HAM-D and CGI-S between the pre- and post-treatment with mirtazapine (p<0.01). There was no significant side effect and cognitive deterioration. The results of this open-label pilot study suggest that mirtazapine may be an effective choice for treatment of depressed patients with AD.

Keyword

Mirtazapine; Depression; Alzheimer's dementia
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