Pharmacopsychiatry 2010; 43(6): 210-215
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1254152
Original Paper

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Factors Associated with Response in Depressed Elderly Outpatients Treated with Escitalopram in a Naturalistic Setting in Germany

H.-J. Möller1 , J. Schnitker2 , W. Flürenbrock3
  • 1Psychiatric Clinic Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
  • 2Institute for Applied Statistics GmbH, Bielefeld, Germany
  • 3Lundbeck GmbH, Hamburg, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

received 02.07.09 revised 23.04.2010

accepted 28.04.2010

Publication Date:
29 June 2010 (eFirst)


Background: An open, multi-centre study was designed to address the effectiveness and tolerability profile of treatment with escitalopram under naturalistic conditions, in elderly outpatients (above 65 years of age) with depression.

Patients and Methods: A total of 2 050 patients completed 8 weeks of treatment with escitalopram. Rating scales included a short version of the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (svMADRS), the Clinical Global Impression – Severity scale (CGI-S), and the Clinical Global Impression –Improvement scale (CGI-I) for the assessment of various clinical parameters.

Results: Most patients improved in their general state of health and showed a decrease in the severity of their depression. The majority (82.7%) of patients received initially 10 mg/day escitalopram. The mean svMADRS total score decreased from 31.9±7.9 at baseline to 14.2±8.5 at week 8. On completion, 63.9% of the patients were responders (≥50% decrease of svMADRS total score from baseline) and 48.6% were remitters (svMADRS total score ≤12 at week 8). Statistically significantly more patients aged between 66 and 75 years responded to treatment and achieved remission than those aged >75 years. Logistic regression, using stepwise backward elimination, was used to model response to treatment. Statistically significant positive factors were having a current episode ≤1 month and duration of illness ≤1 year. Significant negative factors were being male, being older than 75 years, and having need of further psychotropic medication. Compared to patients diagnosed with unspecified dementia with other symptoms being predominantly depressive (F03, according to ICD-10), the response to escitalopram was significantly better for patients with depressive episodes (F32) or recurrent depressive episodes (F33), but significantly worse for patients with affective disorder (F31 or F34). The differences versus affective disorders were significant, while those for depressive episodes and recurrent depressive episodes vs. affective disorders were not significant.

Conclusion: This observational study corroborates the effectiveness and tolerability of escitalopram treatment for elderly patients in a naturalistic treatment setting.



Prof. Dr. H.-J. Möller

Klinikum der Ludwig-



Klinik für Psychiatrie und


Nußbaumstraße 7

80336 München


Phone: +49/089/5160 5501

Fax: +49/089/5160 5522