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J Affect Disord. 2005 Feb;84(2-3):259-66.

Sustained remission with lamotrigine augmentation or monotherapy in female resistant depressives with mixed cyclothymic-dysthymic temperament.

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From Mood Clinic, Family Medicine Department, University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN, USA.



The treatment of bipolar depression remains problematic. Lamotrigine has been shown in randomized controlled studies to be efficacious in preventing bipolar depression and rapid cycling states.


Twenty-four women with cyclothymic temperament and refractory depression were recruited from four outpatient sites (three primary care and one psychiatric) and treated with lamotrigine in a naturalistic, open-label study. Temperament was determined by responses on the TEMP-A self-rating scale. Eighteen (75%) of these cyclothymic patients also scored high on the depressive temperament. Eighteen (75%) met DSM-IV criteria for bipolar II disorder. In two thirds of the cases, lamotrigine was add-on therapy to an antidepressant. Response to therapy was assessed using the DSM-IV Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF).


This study was naturalistic in design, without controls or blinds.


Of the 23 patients who remained in the study, 16 (70%) had significant, sustained responses. Of these 16, 12 (75% of responders, 52% of the total) had remissions (GAF > 80) sustained longer than 12 months. Robust, sustained responses to lamotrigine monotherapy were seen in 4 patients (17%). Seven patients (30%) received no apparent benefit from lamotrigine.


Lamotrigine induced prolonged illness remissions in a substantial number of female patients whose symptoms were both complex and refractory. Most manifested high scores on the cyclothymic and depressive temperaments, and prior refractoriness to multiple antidepressant and antidepressant/mood stabilizer combinations, before remitting with lamotrigine augmentation or monotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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