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Articles

Phenomenology and Treatment of Agitation

Alan F. Schatzberg, MD, and Charles DeBattista, MD, DMH

Published: June 1, 1999

Article Abstract

Agitation is a troublesome, common symptom in major depression that can be difficult to manage. It is sometimes a side effect of antidepressant treatment and may occasionally represent a mixed bipolar episode. If agitation fails to respond to an antidepressant alone, treatment may be augmented with a benzodiazepine, a neuroleptic, or lithium. Preliminary evidence indicates that divalproex, which has been found useful for bipolar disorder and for agitation associated with Alzheimer’s disease, may also be effective for agitated depression. A controlled trial is now underway.


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