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Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Mood and Anxiety Disorders in Late Life 

Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Mood and Anxiety Disorders in Late Life
Chapter:
Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Mood and Anxiety Disorders in Late Life
Author(s):

Arun V. Ravindran

and Tricia L. da Silva

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199380862.003.0025
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date: 07 April 2020

Older patients with depression and anxiety often use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies to self-treat symptoms, frequently in addition to conventional pharmacotherapy and without medical supervision. However, research on CAMs in this population is sparse and lacking in long-term efficacy and safety data, including potential drug-CAM interactions. For late-life depression, some CAM therapies, such as exercise, yoga, light therapy, and omega-3 fatty acids, show some evidence of benefit, and St. John’s wort and SAM-e are supported by significant data from general adult patients; evidence for treatment of sleep deprivation is mixed. Data are largely lacking in late-life anxiety disorders. Though mostly well tolerated, these CAMs are recommended only as third-line augmentation interventions (i.e., after agents with more use in clinical practice or more evidence of efficacy, safety, and tolerability have been tried) due to the quality of available evidence.

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