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How long should the lithium augmentation strategy be maintained? A 1-year follow-up of a placebo-controlled study in unipolar refractory major depression

MPS-Authors

Bschor,  Tom
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

Berghöfer,  Anne
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

Ströhle,  Andreas
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

Kunz,  Dieter
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

Adli,  Mazda
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

Müller-Oerlinghausen,  Bruno
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

Bauer,  Michael
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Bschor, T., Berghöfer, A., Ströhle, A., Kunz, D., Adli, M., Müller-Oerlinghausen, B., et al. (2002). How long should the lithium augmentation strategy be maintained? A 1-year follow-up of a placebo-controlled study in unipolar refractory major depression. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 22(4), 427-430.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-A1A5-C
Abstract
There is compelling evidence from placebo-controlled studies that lithium augmentation is an effective strategy in the acute and continuation treatment of refractory unipolar major depression. Authors prospectively investigated the 1-year outcome of 22 subjects diagnosed with unipolar major depression who had participated in a 4-month placebo-controlled, double- blind continuation study of lithium augmentation without relapse. At the end of the double-blind phase, the blinded medication (lithium in 14 patients, placebo in 8 patients) was tapered off over a 1-week period, while the antidepressant was continued at the same dosage for another 4 weeks. Subsequently, the antidepressant was gradually discontinued over a 4-week period. Clinical status was assessed at regular follow-up visits. During the open 6-month follow-up period, seven subjects suffered an affective recurrence, five of whom had received lithium during the placebo-controlled, double-blind phase of the study. Study data suggest that active medication should be maintained for at least 1 year after successful lithium augmentation in patients with unipolar major depressive disorder