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MARSILID (IPRONIAZID) AND ELECTROSHOCK
ALFRED GALLINEK
Am J Psychiatry 1959;115:1011-1016.
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The Department of Neurology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, and the Neurological Institute, Presbyterian Hospital.

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Abstract

Marsilid (iproniazid), so far, is the only drug with powerful anti-depressive properties. Twenty-five out of 32 patients derived benefit from the drug. It is helpful [See TABLE-1 in source PDF] in depressive syndromes in which somatization and retardation predominate, particularly so, if strong neurotic features are present. In one severe chronic schizophrenic syndrome Marsilid had a powerful euphorizing, unblocking effect. It is ineffective in most agitated depressions. It requires considerable length of time before exerting effect. Half of the successfully treated patients relapsed and had to be kept on maintenance therapy.Toxic features are of considerable degree and frequency. Fifteen out of 32 patients showed serious complications, among them 7 cases of liver damage. The well-known minor complications occurred in the vast majority of patients.Indications for electroshock and Marsilid will rarely overlap since depressions with neurotic features were never a first choice indication for electroshock, and since the prevalent group of psychotic depressions, the agitated depressions, failed to respond to Marsilid. It appears that the anti-depressive effect of Marsilid is exerted over the sense of increased physical well-being and increased energy induced by the drug. A possibly important chance observation was the disappearance of the manifestations of psoriasis of 40 years uninterrupted duration and their reappearance after discontinuation of the drug. [See TABLE-2 in souce PDF]

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