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July 1984

Five Antidepressant Treatments in Depressed PatientsEffects on Urinary Serotonin and 5-Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid Output

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Clinical Studies, National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) (Dr Linnoila), and the Branches of Clinical Psychobiology (Mr Miller and Dr Potter) and Theoretical Statistics and Mathematics (Dr Bartko), National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(7):688-692. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790180058007

The 24-hour urinary serotonin (5-HT) and 5-hydroxylndoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) outputs were repeatedly measured in 21 patients with major affective disorders after a minimum of three weeks free of drug treatments and at steady state during subsequent antidepressant treatments or during the second week after a series of electroconvulsive treatments (ECTs). The 5-HIAA outputs were more variable over time than the outputs of major catecholamine metabolites, previously studied by us. Patients with rapid mood cycles excreted large amounts of 5-HT. Lithium carbonate and ECTs reduced the outputs of 5-HT and 5-HIAA, respectively. Lithium carbonate also stabilized the output of 5-HT. No common effect of different antidepressant treatments on indole outputs was found.