The Portal of Geriatrics Online Education

Depression Management 4: Pharmacologic Management of Major Depressive Disorder

Depression Management 4: Pharmacologic Management of Major Depressive Disorder

Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
Tarae Waddell-Terry, MS, Emily R. Hajjar, CG, Cynthia A. Sanoski, FCCP
Geriatric Education Center (GEC)
POGOe Id: 
Date Posted: 
Date Reviewed/Updated for Clinical Accuracy: 

Pharmacologic management of depression in the older adult can be very complex especially when related to treatment by medication. There are many factors to consider in effectively treating and managing depression. Some of these include: identifying medications associated with depression, discussing pharmacologic treatment options with the patient, differentiating between the adverse effects of antidepressant drugs, etc. This module discusses the pharmacologic treatment of depression in the older adult. It also includes pre-test, post-test and exercises. A certificate of completion is awarded, after completing the module in its entirety.

Educational objectives: 

Upon completion of this module, the participant will be able to:

  • Identify medications that may be associated with causing depression in the elderly.
  • Discuss factors that should be considered when selecting antidepressant therapy for elderly patients.
  • Discuss pharmacologic treatment options for depression in the elderly.
  • Differentiate between the adverse effect profiles of the various antidepressant drugs.
  • Describe the process that should be followed when discontinuing antidepressant therapy in the elderly.
Additional information/Special implementation requirements or guidelines: 

Technical Requirements and Notes: This learning module uses Adobe Flash media and may require you to add a browser "plug-in" in order to display properly. Most computers already have this free plug-in installed. But, if yours does not, it is very easy to download and install. Try the module first because the software is "smart" enough to detect the Flash player. If the module doesn't begin, you will be automatically prompted to download the plug-in. The module contains links to external websites which will open in a new browser window. Your browser's back button will not return to the module, so these new windows should be closed.

In order to track your progress, you must create an account and fill out a brief demographic profile. Once the profile has been created, you can log directly into the course.

Other Learning Resource Type: 
Estimated time to complete: 
30 minutes
Contact Person/Corresponding Author:

Suggested Citation:
Dr. Cynthia A. Sanoski, B.S., PharmD., BCPS, FCCP, Dr. Emily R. Hajjar, PharmD., BCPS, CG and Tarae Waddell-Terry, MS. Depression Management 4: Pharmacologic Management of Major Depressive Disorder. POGOe - Portal of Geriatrics Online Education; 2010 Available from: