Low Doses of Controlled-Release Paroxetine in the Treatment of Late-Life Depression: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of low daily doses of controlled-release (CR) paroxetine in patients with late-life depression.

Method: This was a 10-week, multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind, fixed-dose trial randomly assigning patients ≥ 60 years old to daily doses of paroxetine CR 12.5 mg (N = 168), paroxetine CR 25 mg (N = 177), or placebo (N = 180). Patients had major depressive disorder (DSM-IV criteria) and 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) total scores of ≥ 18. The primary efficacy variable was the change from baseline to study endpoint in total HAM-D scores. The study was conducted from June 2003 to October 2004.

Results: The drug/placebo difference in HAM-D change from baseline at study endpoint was -1.8 (95% CI = -3.41 to -0.19, p =.029) for paroxetine CR 12.5 mg, and -3.3 (95% CI=-4.84 to -1.68, p

Conclusion: These data demonstrate that paroxetine CR 12.5 mg and 25 mg daily are efficacious and well tolerated in the treatment of major depressive disorder in patients ≥ 60 years of age, although effect sizes are relatively smaller with the 12.5 mg/day dose.

J Clin Psychiatry 2009;70(1):46-57