A new article questions the effectiveness of anti-depressants in patients with Alzheimer’s Dementia, indicating that they are ineffective, or at least no more effective that placebo.
Now…given that placebo works in about 1/3 of patients…perhaps that’s not too bad, but really it’s getting at the point that the medications aren’t really doing anything.
I have to say that this isn’t something that I’ve noticed or considered before. I’ve never thought that these medications ‘weren’t working’ in my patients, but on the other hand, typically we are getting reports on patient behavior from their family/caregivers who may be influence by the knowledge that they are on these medications.
So…..should we stop prescribing these medications? Probably not, but I do think we should try to take a more skeptical look at response to medications, so that we are not putting patients on multiple medications over time, as that would not be helpful over the long-term.