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December 1975

Lithium Carbonate in Affective DisordersIV. A Double-Blind Study of Prophylaxis in Unipolar Recurrent Depression

Author Affiliations

From the Lithium Clinic and Metabolic Research Unit, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1975;32(12):1541-1544. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1975.01760300079006

• The prophylactic efficacy of lithium carbonate vs placebo was examined in a double-blind study in a carefully delineated group of 28 unipolar recurrent depressed patients followed up from three months to four years. Indexes of prophylactic efficacy revealed a statistically significant decrease in episode frequency, depth of global depression scores, and increased clinic attendance rate in the lithium carbonate group compared with the placebo group.

Planned studies are now needed to determine which unipolar patients do best on a maintenance regimen of lithium carbonate alone, lithium carbonate plus tricyclic drugs, or tricyclic drugs alone.