J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2006 Dec;10(2):70-75.

Pharmacotherapy of Anxiety Disorders in Older People

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Konkuk University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. shryu@kku.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Korea University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Anxiety disorders are common psychiatric illnesses in the elderly. However, anxiety disorders in older people have not drawn much attention from researchers and clinicians alike, compared with late-life depression or dementia. The author searched for articles published from 1986 to 2006 using the key words including "anxiety", "elderly", "aged", and "pharmacological" therapy in the MEDLINE, PsychINFO, and KMbase in order to clarify effective pharmacological therapy in the elderly with anxiety disorders. Well designed studies for pharmacologic intervention in late-life anxiety disorders were rarely found. Nonetheless, studies on young adults demonstrated a number of pharmacological treatment options that can be applied to these patients. Pharmacologic treatments for the elderly include therapies using antideprssants, especially SSRI or SNRI, buspirone, or benzodiazepines. The latter requires special caution in the administration in the elderly because it can lead to adverse events. Therefore, well designed clinical trials are further needed to obtain optimal pharmacological intervention for the elderly with anxiety disorders.


Older people; Anxiety disorders; Pharmacotherapy
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