By Julie Steenhuysen Stocks? ? ? ? Regulatory News CHICAGO, Jan 20 (Reuters) - The popular antidepressantLexapro showed promise at easing anxiety symptoms in olderadults, but the e ect was "modest" and would need to bestudied urther, U.S researchers said on Tuesday. They said antidepressants like Lexapro, made by orestLaboratories Inc ( RX.N) and known generically as escitalopram,may be use ul as a new treatment option or older adults withgeneralized anxiety disorder, a disabling condition that canalso cause muscle tension, insomnia and atigue. "We ound impro ements not only in anxiety and le el o worry but also in unctioning," Dr Eric Lenze o WashingtonUni ersity School o Medicine in St. He said many people who took the drug were better able tocarry out their daily acti ities.
But or most people, he said,the drug alone is likely not enough. "That suggests there can be some long-term health bene itsin treating anxiety in this older age group," Lenze said. While the study looked only at Lexapro, Lenze thinks thebene its would extend to all antidepressants in the class,which are known as selecti e serotonin reuptake inhibitors orSSRIs. And while thesedrugs can relie e anxiety, they can also impair thinkingability and can e en lead to alls. They ound 69 percent o patients got better, compared with51 percent o those whose symptoms impro ed simply by taking aplacebo.
Those who took the drug showed greater impro ement inboth anxiety symptoms and in social unctioning. Side e ects in the drug arm included atigue,insomnia and urinary symptoms. Lenze is now studying the long-term e ects o treatmentand is also studying the drug in combination with agoal-oriented type o talk therapy called cogniti e beha ioraltherapy. orest, which aces the loss o patent protection orLexapro in 2012, supplied drugs or the study It was unded bythe National Institutes o Health. (Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Maggie ox,Richard Chang) Stocks Regulatory News.
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