Eighty-four patients with major depression refractory to a controlled
antidepressant trial had lithium added to their ongoing treatment.
Objective symptom ratings showed highly significant improvement in the
sample as a whole. At discharge or after 24 days, 31% of the patients
showed a marked response, 25% a partial response. Thus, 56% of patients had
a significant positive response, while 44% were nonresponders. This study
indicates that response to lithium augmentation may be quite variable and a
3-week trial is necessary to assess full benefit.