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September 1983

Effects of Antidepressant Treatments on Dopamine Turnover in Depressed Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Clinical Psychology (Drs Linnoila and Potter) and Adult Psychiatry (Dr Karoum) Branches, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(9):1015-1017. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790080097012

• Effects of five antidepressant treatments—clorgyline, desipramine hydrochloride, electroconvulsive treatment, lithium carbonate, and zimelidine hydrochloride—on urinary outputs of dopamine, dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, and homovanillic acid (HVA) were investigated in unipolar and bipolar depressed patients. Clorgyline and lithium carbonate, which stabilized mood in bipolar patients, reduced the urinary output of HVA and whole-body dopamine turnover. Electroconvulsive treatment and zimelidine were without major effects, whereas desipramine had variable effects on these indexes of dopamine metabolism. Three patients, two receiving desipramine and one receiving clorgyline, who had increased HVA output during the drug treatments, became severely agitated and delusional.

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