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Am J Psychiatry. 1986 Mar;143(3):363-6.

Lithium augmentation in psychotic depression refractory to combined drug treatment.


In this retrospective study the authors determined the efficacy of lithium added to a combined antipsychotic-antidepressant drug regimen in 21 psychotically depressed patients who had been refractory to combined drug treatment. Response to lithium was then compared with response rates of 15 patients to ECT, the established treatment for nonresponsive delusional depression. Lithium was effective in eight of nine patients with bipolar depression but in only three of 12 patients with unipolar depression; ECT was effective in nine of 15 patients with unipolar depression. Lithium augmentation appeared to be a realistic treatment alternative for refractory bipolar patients but was disappointing in unipolar patients.

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