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April 1985

Desipramine and 2-Hydroxydesipramine Plasma Levels in Endogenous Depressed Patients: Lack of Correlation With Therapeutic Response

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1985;42(4):361-364. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1985.01790270051005

• Studies of the relationship between plasma concentrations of desipramine hydrochloride and clinical response have shown contradictory results, and only one prior study examined 2-hydroxydesipramine and its relationship to treatment. We therefore performed a study in a large, carefully diagnosed group of depressed patients taking fixed maintenance doses of desipramine to elucidate a potential relationship between clinical response and plasma concentrations of desipramine and 2-hydroxydesipramine. There was no significant correlation between clinical response and steadystate plasma levels of desipramine, 2-hydroxydesipramine, or the sum of desipramine plus 2-hydroxydesipramine. Although some commercial laboratories suggest a specific therapeutic plasma level "range" for desipramine, our data provide no support for such a range, nor for the routine measurement of plasma desipramine and 2-hydroxydesipramine concentrations in depressed patients.