Lamotrigine in the Treatment of Unipolar Depression with and Without Comorbidities: A Literature Review
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- Zavodnick, A.D. & Ali, R. Psychiatr Q (2012) 83: 371. doi:10.1007/s11126-012-9208-4
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To review the available data behind the use of lamotrigine in unipolar depression and common comorbid conditions. A PubMed based literature review was conducted using keywords related to lamotrigine, depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), and personality disorders. A large number of trials using lamotrigine for unipolar depression and various comorbid conditions were reviewed. A major limitation behind the majority of studies was a limited course of the treatment phase. The most robust data was found among studies that followed patients for over 8 weeks, and used higher dosages. Patients with comorbid anxiety states appeared to benefit. Patients with borderline personality disorder also appeared to benefit. The benefits of lamotrigine in unipolar depression have been inconsistently noted in a number of studies. This is due in part to short treatment phases, atypical domains of benefit and different patient populations across studies. Patients with more treatment-resistance, comorbid anxiety and borderline personality disorder may be more able to benefit from lamotrigine.