Mental health

Role of antidepressants in people with dementia and associated depression

Question 4: For people with dementia with associated depression, do antidepressants when compared to placebo/comparator produce benefits/harm in the specified outcomes?

  • Population: people with dementia with a coexisting depressive illness
  • Interventions: antidepressants
  • Comparison: placebo
  • Outcomes:
    • depression improvement
    • cognition improvement
    • activities of daily living
    • clinical global impression
    • number of dropouts
    • adverse events.


In people with dementia with symptoms and/or signs suggestive of moderate or severe depression, use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may be considered by non-specialist health care providers. In case of non-response after at least 3 weeks, they should preferably be referred to mental health specialist for further assessment and management.
Strength of recommendation: STANDARD

Evidence profile