Antidepressants may work better than exercise for older people with depression

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In a study from Albacete Zone VIII Health Center, scientists found antidepressants may be more effective than exercise for seniors with depression.

They assigned 347 patients (65 years or older) with depression to either a supervised physical exercise program or an antidepressant treatment by their general practitioners.

The researchers found that the cumulative incidence of improvement in depressive symptomatology in the physical activity group after one month was not significantly different from that in the antidepressant treatment group.

However, at the end of three and six months, respectively, the proportion of those who showed improvement was significantly greater in the antidepressant group (60.6 versus 49.7 percent) when compared with the physical activity group (45.6 versus 32.9 percent).

The number of patients withdrawing was greater in the physical activity group, but the proportion of participants with adverse side effects was greater in the antidepressant group.

The team says although the improvement was initially similar in both treatment groups, antidepressant treatment was superior in the medium term, despite giving rise to a greater number of adverse effects.

If you care about depression, please read studies about how ketamine prevents depression, and this common depression drug may help prevent severe COVID-19.

For more information about mental health, please see recent studies about depression drugs that may come with a higher death risk, and results showing people with anxiety can fully recover.

The study was conducted by Jesús López-Torres Hidalgo et al and published in the Annals of Family Medicine.

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