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Lithium Carbonate and Imipramine in the Prophylaxis of Unipolar and Bipolar II Illness:  A Prospective, Placebo-Controlled Comparison

John M. Kane, MD; Frederick M. Quitkin, MD; Arthur Rifkin, MD; Jorge R. Ramos-Lorenzi, MD; Devdutt D. Nayak, MD; Alfreda Howard, MA
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1982;39(9):1065-1069. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1982.04290090053011.
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• Twenty-seven patients with recurrent unipolar depression and 22 with bipolar II illness in remission for at least six months were randomly assigned on a double-blind basis to treatment regimens using lithium carbonate, imipramine hydrochloride, lithium carbonate plus imipramine, or placebo. Lithium carbonate was found to help prevent depressive relapse among patients with unipolar disease, and relapse of any type among those with bipolar II disease. No effect or interaction of imipramine was found in either group. These results add to a growing body of data that suggest the usefulness of lithium carbonate in the prophylaxis of unipolar depressive illness. The relative usefulness of lithium carbonate and imipramine requires further study.


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