Chromium potentiation of antidepressant
pharmacotherapy for dysthymic disorder in 5 patients

McLeod MN, Gaynes BN, Golden RN
Department of Psychiatry,
University of North Carolina School of Medicine,
Chapel Hill 27599-7160, USA.
J Clin Psychiatry 1999 Apr; 60(4):237-40


BACKGROUND: Dysthymic disorder is a relatively common illness that is often treated with antidepressants. Compared with the study of major depression, there has been little systematic study of potentiation strategies for antidepressant-refractory dysthymic disorder. METHOD: Following a patient's report of dramatic response to the addition of chromium supplementation to sertraline pharmacotherapy for dysthymic disorder (DSM-IV), the authors initiated a series of single-blind and open-label trials of chromium picolinate or chromium polynicotinate in the treatment of antidepressant-refractory dysthymic disorder. RESULTS: In a series of 5 patients, chromium supplementation led to remission of dysthymic symptoms. Single-blind substitution of other dietary supplements in each of the patients demonstrated specificity of response to chromium supplementation. CONCLUSION: Preliminary observations suggest that chromium may potentiate antidepressant pharmacotherapy for dysthymic disorder. Controlled studies are indicated to test the validity of these initial observations.
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