Mirtazapine orally disintegrating tablets in depressed nursing home residents 85 years of age and older

J. Craig Nelson, Steven B. Hollander, James Betzel, Philip Smolen, M. Agronin, R. Bermingham, J. Bertino, D. Chess, K. Cranmer, R. Detrinis, L. Gelman, J. Hawa, E. C. Irvin, N. Kopyt, M. Levy, V. Marchello, L. Miller, S. Reddy-Pasem, K. Rapp, A. RosanwoC. Salzman, S. Segal, M. Shepard, A. Siegal, D. Tomas, L. Usher, C. K. Watt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Introduction: Treatment studies of depression in the very oldest patients are infrequent. For these reasons, this study of mirtazapine orally disintegrating tablets was carried out in nursing home residents ≥85 years old with physician-diagnosed depression. The naturalistic conditions of the study allowed us to include patients with cognitive impairment, concomitant medications and comorbid illness. Methods: This was a subgroup analysis of nursing home residents ≥85 years old who took part in a larger 12-week open-label trial. Patients were eligible if they had physician-diagnosed depression, and a Mini-Mental State Exam score ≥ 10. The physician or nurse coordinator obtained data from Healthcare professionals in daily contact with the patient to complete the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale, a modified 16-item Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D), and the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD). Treatment-emergent adverse events were recorded. Results: Of the 50 patients enrolled at 23 sites, 72% completed the 12-week trial. The mean age of the participants was 89.3 years. The mean HAM-D score declined from 16.9 at baseline to 7.3 at endpoint (ITT, LOCF analysis) For the CSDD, the mean score declined from 15.1 to 7.1. The percentage of responders on the CGI-Improvement (CGI-1) scale increased at each assessment reaching 55% at endpoint. Only 10% of the patients discontinued treatment because of adverse events. There was a mean increase in weight of 1.32 lbs (0.6 kg) at day 84. Conclusion: Although lacking a placebo control, this naturalistic study suggests that mirtazapine orally disintegrating tablets were effective and well tolerated in this sample of depressed nursing home residents ≥85 years of age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)898-901
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Late life depression
  • Mirtazapine
  • Nursing home

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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