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May 1959

Effects of Imipramine (Tofranil) on Depressive States: A Clinical and Psychodynamic Study

Author Affiliations


From Department of Psychiatry, McGill University Faculty of Medicine, and Allan Memorial Institute.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1959;81(5):658-664. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1959.02340170124014

Since the introduction of phrenotropic drugs in psychiatry, the major syndromes influenced by them have been those associated with excitation, elation, agitation, and, sometimes, anxiety. There has been, as yet, no satisfactory means for chemical control of depressive states. Amphetamines, effective in mild depression, have a transitory unpredictable effect and are also habitforming. Iproniazid (Marsilid), one of the few promising antidepressants, may produce undesirable side-effects, and death, though rare, has followed its use.1 While surveying different substances in this area, it was noted that Kuhn, in Switzerland,2 had observed favorable results with an iminodibenzyl compound in 30 depressed patients. A preliminary trial with this substance3 confirmed Kuhn's opinion. Concomitantly, Lehmann et al.4 reached the same conclusions.

The present study was undertaken to observe more fully the effects of this substance (imipramine), which appeared to be a potent antidepressant and also to investigate the changes in psychodynamic

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