Double-Blind Comparison of Addition of a Second Mood Stabilizer Versus an Antidepressant to an Initial Mood Stabilizer for Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Depression Academic Article uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: This study's purpose was to clarify the appropriate treatment of bipolar depression by comparing the addition of an antidepressant versus a second mood stabilizer for inpatients being treated with lithium carbonate or divalproex sodium. METHOD: Twenty-seven patients were randomly assigned to groups that received double-blind treatment with paroxetine or a second mood stabilizer (lithium carbonate or divalproex sodium) for 6 weeks. RESULTS: Both groups showed significant improvement in depressive symptoms during the 6-week trial. There were significantly more noncompleters in the group being treated with the two mood stabilizers than in the group being treated with a mood stabilizer and paroxetine. CONCLUSIONS: Both treatments appeared to be effective; however, the addition of an antidepressant may have greater clinical utility in the treatment of bipolar depression.


  • Young, L Trevor
  • Joffe, Russell T
  • Robb, Janine C
  • MacQueen, Glenda M
  • Marriott, Michael
  • Patelis-Siotis, Irene

publication date

  • January 2000

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