A comparison of electroconvulsive therapy and combined phenelzine-amitriptyline in refractory depression.

Journal Article

Combined monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor-tricyclic antidepressant therapy and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) were compared in a population of refractory depressive patients. Seventeen patients were randomly assigned to either of the treatment groups, and an independent observer was used to rate overall progress. Between four and ten ECTs or a combination of phenelzine and amitriptyline were administered. Assays for MAO activity and plasma levels of amitriptyline and nortriptyline were performed. In both psychotic and neurotic depression, ECT was superior. When depression was accompanied by character disorder, the response was generally poor. Adequate levels of MAO inhibition were obtained, but tricyclic antidepressant levels were low. Electroconvulsive therapy is still considered to be the treatment of choice for severe depression, whereas the combination of low doses of phenelzine and amitriptyline are ineffective. This treatment modality needs further investigation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Davidson, J; McLeod, M; Law-Yone, B; Linnoila, M

Published Date

  • May 1, 1978

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 639 - 642

PubMed ID

  • 727903

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1538-3636

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-990X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770290121011

Language

  • eng