Caffeine augmentation of ECT.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of 40 depressed inpatients, the authors compared two techniques for maintaining seizure duration during pulse unilateral ECT: pretreatment with intravenous caffeine versus electrical stimulus intensity dosing. Both techniques effectively maintained seizure duration, but with caffeine this was accomplished without any increase in mean stimulus intensity over the course of ECT. There were no differences between the two techniques in therapeutic outcome or cognitive side effects from ECT, and caffeine pretreatment was well tolerated. The authors discuss the clinical and research implications of these findings with respect to strategies for maintaining seizure duration during ECT.
Coffey, CE; Figiel, GS; Weiner, RD; Saunders, WB
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