The Use of Anticonvulsants to Augment Antidepressant Medication




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Combination therapy that couples classical antidepressants with other psychoactive compounds is one of the major therapeutic strategies in therapy-resistant depression. The authors review reports on the antidepressive effects of the mood stabilizers carbamazepine and valproate and focus on the pharmacodynamic and clinical aspects of combining these compounds with antidepressant drugs. In addition, a pivotal study (N = 10 outpatients) demonstrates the use and efficacy of a low-dose combination therapy of carbamazepine and amitriptyline. It is concluded that low-dose combination of classical antidepressants and mood stabilizers appears to be well tolerated and highly effective.

J Clin Psychiatry 1998;59(suppl 5):51–58