Alzheimer's patients using sertraline and mirtazapine to overcome depression might not benefit from the drugs any more than they would from a placebo, new research suggests.
However, the study by Professor Sube Banerjee from the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, indicates that these drugs can lead to side effects like nausea and feelings of drowsiness.
One of the two drugs or a placebo was given to the study's 326 participants. No difference was seen between the depression measurement decreases of the three groups after a period of 13 weeks.
The authors of the research wrote that the project may have implications for the way the anti-depressant drugs are given to patients in the future.
They stated: 'Clinicians and investigators need to re-frame the way they think about the treatment of people with Alzheimer's disease who are depressed, and reconsider routine prescription of the anti-depressants.'
The Lancet reported details of the study in an online edition.
Source: Press Association