J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2003 Jun;7(1):34-41.

Pharmacotherapy Strategies in Anxious Elderly Patients

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University, School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. ks2485@samsung.co.kr


To provide a recent knowledge about pharmacological treatment of anxiety disorders in elderly, the author reviewed the articles and books for the treatment of elderly anxiety patients. Anxiety is the one of the most prevalent psychiatric symptoms in the elderly. Many psychological and physical causes including used drugs can induce the anxiety symptoms in elderly. However, it is often unrecognized and inadequately treated. The pharcokinetics and pharmacodynamic changes, con-comittent illnesses, compliance problems, and increased sensitivity to drugs in elderly have to be considered. Various pharmacological treatments (e.g benzodiazepines, buspirone, antidepressnats, beta-blockers, antihistamines, neuroleptics)were reported as having therapeutic effects for the treatment of geriatric anxiety disorders patients. They have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, anxiety in elderly have received little focus to date. The study results often depend on the studies from adult samples. A comprehensive, flexible, integrated, and specific treatment approaches should be applied to elderly anxious patients. The more systematized studies are needed to broaden the knowledge of the pharmacological treatment of anxiety disorders in the elderly.


Anxiety disorder; Pharmacotherapy; Late life
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