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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 93-100

Accelerated antidepressant response to lithium augmentation of imipramine

1 Department of Psychiatry, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Peoples Medical College and Hospital, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed University), Rural Medical College, Loni, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Suprakash Chaudhury
Department of Psychiatry, Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed University), Rural Medical College, Loni, Ahmednagar - 413 736, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-6748.196057

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Background: Treatment of depressive episode often poses a challenge. Although there are numerous medicines available for its treatment but they all have a lag period of 2–3 weeks before they start showing their result. Aim: The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that an initial lithium-tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) combination has a quicker and better antidepressant effect than standard TCA treatment in unipolar depression. Materials and Methods: Twenty unipolar depressed inpatients under lithium-TCA treatment were compared with twenty patients with similar diagnosis treated with TCA-placebo combination. The duration of the study was 4 weeks under double-blind conditions. Results: Initial lithium-TCA treatment reduced depressive symptoms significantly more than TCA alone. The difference was evident from 1st week onward and persisted at 4 weeks. Conclusion: Lithium augmentation of TCA at the outset offers a strategy to reduce the lag period of antidepressant action. The choice can be made for those patients who are likely to benefit from long-term prophylaxis.

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