, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 303-310

Effects of imipramine on anxiety and hostility levels

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  1. An initial longitudinal study of the psychologic effects of imipramine on one patient in which the active drug was alternated with a placebo, led to short term studies on four other subjects. A measure of emotional reaction was used which was derived from small samples of speech; it was demonstrated to be an objective and sensitive instrument for the detection of changes in anxiety and hostility.

  2. While imipramine was consistently associated with an increase in the expression of hostility directed outward for the one patient, the increase in hostility outwards for four additional patients was not sufficiently great to reject, with conviction, the hypothesis of chance. However, these four other patients did show a significant increase in a subcategory of hostility directed outward, namely, overt hostility outward.

  3. Imipramine, as compared to a placebo, significantly increased levels of anxiety in the verbal samples of the subjects tested.

  4. No significant changes were noted with imipramine on scores of hostility directed inwards or ambivalently directed hostility, probably because none of these patients was clinically depressed.

This study was supported in part by U. S. Public Health Service Research Grant (M-1055) from the National Institute of Mental Health, Department of Health, Education and Welfare and also by Grants (T 57-74 and B 59-21) from the Foundations Fund for Research in Psychiatry.
We gratefully acknowledge the technical assistance of Carolyn M. Winget, A. B. and Charles J. McLaughlin.
This paper was presented at the First Annual Meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in Washington, D. C., January 25–27, 1963.
Staff Psychiatrist, formerly Chief Resident, Mental Health Career Development Program, NIMH, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine.