Tranylcypromine vs. lamotrigine in the treatment of refractory bipolar depression: a failed but clinically useful study
Article first published online: 8 FEB 2007
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume 115, Issue 5, pages 360–365, May 2007
How to Cite
Nolen, W. A., Kupka, R. W., Hellemann, G., Frye, M. A., Altshuler, L. L., Leverich, G. S., Suppes, T., Keck, P. E., McElroy, S., Grunze, H., Mintz, J. and Post, R. M. (2007), Tranylcypromine vs. lamotrigine in the treatment of refractory bipolar depression: a failed but clinically useful study. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 115: 360–365. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2007.00993.x
- Issue published online: 22 FEB 2007
- Article first published online: 8 FEB 2007
- Accepted for publication December 28, 2006
- bipolar disorder;
- bipolar depression;
Objective: To compare the efficacy and tolerability of tranylcypromine vs. lamotrigine in bipolar depression not responding to conventional antidepressants.
Method: Bipolar depressed patients received open randomized treatment with tranylcypromine or lamotrigine as add-on to a mood stabilizer during 10 weeks. In a second treatment phase, non-responding patients could receive the opposite drug. Outcome criteria were response (measured with CGI-BP and IDS-C), switch into mania, and completion of the study.
Results: Only 20 of 70 planned patients were randomized, due to problems with recruitment, and 19 patients received any medication. During the first treatment phase 5/8 patients (62.5%) responded to tranylcypromine without switch into mania, compared with 4/11 patients (36.4%) on lamotrigine with two switches (statistically not significant). Over both treatment phases, 8/10 patients (80%) receiving tranylcypromine completed the study vs. 5/13 (38.5%) on lamotrigine (likelihood 0.02).
Conclusion: There still appears to be a role for tranylcypromine in the treatment of refractory bipolar depression. Larger controlled studies are demanded.