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Antidepressant effects of carbamazepine
Am J Psychiatry 1986;143:29-34.
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Thirty-five depressed patients diagnosed by DSM-III criteria participated in a double-blind study of the acute antidepressant effects of the anticonvulsant carbamazepine, at average doses of 971 mg/day, achieving mean +/- SD blood levels of 9.3 +/- 1.9 micrograms/ml (range, 3-12.5 micrograms/ml). Twenty patients (57%) showed at least mild improvement, and 12 showed more substantial improvement. Possible clinical predictors of antidepressant response to carbamazepine are discussed. These preliminary data suggest that carbamazepine has some acute antidepressant efficacy in addition to the growing evidence that it has acute antimanic and longer-term prophylactic efficacy in both phases of manic-depressive illness.

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