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September 1971

Dextroamphetamine Response as a Possible Predictor of Improvement With Tricyclic Therapy in Depression

Author Affiliations

From the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute (Drs. Fawcett and Siomopoulos) and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois College of Medicine (Dr. Fawcett), Chicago.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;25(3):247-255. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750150055008

The introduction of the antidepressant drugs has emphasized the importance of predicting therapeutic response because of the latency of the onset of the therapeutic effect of these drugs and has pinpointed interest in biochemical theories of depressive illness. Because of its rapid, dramatic, though time-limited, mood-elevating effects and evidence suggesting a similar major mechanism of action involving an increase in free functional norepinephrine, dextroamphetamine was employed as a behavioral-biochemical intervention. The data tend to support the hypothesis that dextroamphetamine response may predict the therapeutic effects of tricyclic drugs in depressed patients. The similar behavioral effects of dextroamphetamine and tricyclic antidepressants support the possible significance of alterations of norepinephrine and catecholamine metabolism in at least some forms of depressive illness.

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