Prediction of an Optimal Dose of Lamotrigine for Augmentation Therapy in Treatment-Resistant Depressive Disorder From Plasma Lamotrigine Concentration at Week 2

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Abstract

Background:

The authors have previously shown that an early therapeutic response to lamotrigine augmentation therapy is dependent on its plasma concentration and that a plasma lamotrigine concentration of 12.7 μmol/L may be a threshold for a good therapeutic response in treatment-resistant depressive disorder. The present study investigated whether or not an optimal dose of lamotrigine could be predicted from plasma lamotrigine concentration at week 2.

Methods:

The subjects were 37 depressed patients who had already shown insufficient response to at least 3 psychotropics including antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and atypical antipsychotics. The diagnoses were major depressive disorder (n = 15), bipolar I disorder (n = 6), and bipolar II disorder (n = 16). They received augmentation therapy with lamotrigine for 8 weeks. The final doses of lamotrigine were 100 mg/d for 16 subjects who were not taking valproate and 75 mg/d for 21 subjects taking valproate, respectively. Blood sampling was performed at weeks 2 and 8. Plasma concentrations of lamotrigine were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography.

Results:

There were significant linear relationships between the plasma lamotrigine concentrations at week 2 (x) and those at week 8 (y) for subjects who were not taking valproate (P < 0.01) and those taking valproate (P < 0.01). Regression equations were y = 2.032x + 2.549 for the former and y = 3.599x + 5.752 for the latter, respectively. Based on the equations, a nomogram to estimate an optimal dose of lamotrigine could be calculated.

Conclusions:

The present study suggests that an optimal dose of lamotrigine for augmentation therapy in treatment-resistant depressive disorder can be predicted from a plasma lamotrigine concentration at week 2.

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