Combination tricyclic antidepressant and lithium maintenance medication in unipolar and bipolar depressed patients
In a small study of up to 3 years' duration comparison of the value of amitriptyline alone versus amitriptyline + lithium in unipolar cases (27 patients) and of that of lithium alone versus amitriptyline + lithium in bipolar cases (13 patients) showed no advantage for the combination treatments in terms of efficacy in reducing depressive relapses. There was no effect of treatment, developing depression or developing hypothyroidism upon the psychological tests which were conducted during this prolonged study. Observer and self ratings detected an increase in depression before relapse was clearly present, but of the various psychological assessments conducted only arousal showed changes in association with developing and definite relapse. The prescription of lithium but not amitriptyline + lithium or amitriptyline alone was associated with significant increases in blood pressure.