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, 52 (1), 3-12

A History of Investigation on the Mood Stabilizing Effect of Carbamazepine in Japan

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A History of Investigation on the Mood Stabilizing Effect of Carbamazepine in Japan

T Okuma et al. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci.

Abstract

A history of investigation on the antimanic and prophylactic effects of carbamazepine in Japan is described. Following the initial open trials in the early 1970s in which the antimanic and prophylactic effects of carbamazepine were indicated for the first time in the world, the mood stabilizing effect was confirmed by the double blind studies which were performed with a multi-institutional cooperation in Japan in the late 1970s. During the course of the double blind trials, the problem of different therapeutic dosages of psychotropic drugs between Japan and Western countries emerged; that is, the doses of chlorpromazine and lithium carbonate, which were used as the control drugs to carbamazepine in the two double-blind group-comparison studies in Japan, were both much lower than the dosage used in most of the Western countries. The low dosage of control drugs made the evaluation of the results of the double blind studies performed in Japan difficult, and caused a delay of publication in the Western journals of the results. Whether the difference is due to biological factors or to psychosocial and cultural factors is an important problem in psychopharmacology and should be investigated further.

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