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Carbamazepine augmentation in depressive patients non-responding to citalopram: a pharmacokinetic and clinical pilot study
Publication types: Journal Article
Citalopram is a chiral antidepressant drug. Its eutomer, S-citalopram (escitalopram), has recently been introduced as an antidepressant. In an open pilot study, four outpatients and two inpatients with a major depressive episode (ICD-10), and who were nonresponders to a 4-week pretreatment with 40-60 mg/day citalopram, were comedicated for another 4-week period with carbamazepine (200-400 mg/day). Some of the patients suffered also from comorbidities: Phobic anxiety disorder with panic attacks (n=2), generalised anxiety disorder, alcohol abuse, dependent personality disorder, hypertension (n=1). After a 4-week augmentation therapy with carbamazepine, a significant (P<0.03) decrease of the plasma concentrations of S-citalopram and R-citalopram, by 27 and 31%, respectively, was observed. Apparently, the probable induction of CYP3A4 by carbamazepine results in a nonstereoselective increase in N-demethylation of citalopram. Moreover, there was a significant (P<0.03) decrease of the ratio S/R-citalopram propionic acid derivative, the formation of it being partly regulated by MAO-A and MAO-B. Already, within 1 week after addition of carbamazepine, there was a slight but significant (P<0.03) decrease of the MADRS depression scores, from 27.0+/-7.7 (mean+/-S.D.) to 23.3+/-6.6, and the final score on day 56 was 18.8+/-10.9. The treatment was generally well tolerated. There was no evidence of occurrence of a serotonin syndrome. After augmentation with carbamazepine, treatment related adverse events were: Nausea in one case, diarrhea in one case, and rash in two cases. In conclusion, the results of this pilot study suggest that carbamazepine augmentation of a citalopram treatment in previous nonresponders to citalopram may be clinically useful, but that in addition carbamazepine can lead to a decrease of the plasma concentrations of the active enantiomer escitalopram.
Adult, Analysis of Variance, Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation, Antimanic Agents, Carbamazepine, Citalopram, Depressive Disorder, Major, Drug Synergism, Drug Therapy, Combination, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Pilot Projects, Statistics, Nonparametric, Stereoisomerism
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