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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1991 Feb;83(2):125-33.

Effects of clomipramine treatment on cerebrospinal fluid monoamine metabolites and platelet 3H-imipramine binding and serotonin uptake and concentration in major depressive disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


In an open study of 12 inpatients who met the DSM-III criteria for a major depressive episode, the effects of clomipramine (CI) on the monoamine metabolites 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), homovanillic acid (HVA), 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl glycol (HMPG) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were measured simultaneously with the effects on 3H-imipramine binding, serotonin (5-HT) uptake and 5-HT concentration in platelets after 3 and 6 weeks of treatment. Drug (CI and desmethylclomipramine) plasma concentrations were determined. The concentrations of 5-HIAA and HMPG decreased substantially, and the concentration of HVA remained unchanged. There was also a large and significant reduction of the number of imipramine binding sites (Bmax) and of the platelet 5-HT concentration. The 5-HT uptake was not measurable after 3 weeks of treatment. None of the parameters changed significantly between weeks 3 and 6. There were no significant correlations between antidepressant effect (measured by the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale) and plasma drug concentrations, although a tendency to a significant correlation between antidepressant effect and CI was observed at 3 weeks. There were no significant intercorrelations between the different 5-HT parameters and no other significant correlations between the biochemical measures and clinical outcome.

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