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Recent studies have shown significant alterations in serum alpha-1 acid glycoprotein (AGP) concentration in epileptic patients, the major protein to which basic drugs bind in serum. To date, there have been no reports in the literature investigating the effects of generalized seizures as a result of repeatedly administered electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) on this serum protein. As the cyclic antidepressants are basic drugs that bind avidly to AGP, an alterations of AGP concentration by ECT could represent a mechanism of interaction between two somatic treatments for depression. We therefore determined the serial AGP concentrations of 10 patients undergoing repeated ECT. AGP concentrations were determined by radial immunodiffusion on serum samples obtained at each treatment session (course of treatment ranged from 4 to 12 sessions over 8 to 32 days). The mean (SD) AGP concentrations prior to and at the end of ECT were 88.7 (18.3) mg/dl and 97.8 (24.8) mg/dl, respectively. Variability in AGP concentration was observed over the course of treatments with no consistent trend (intrapatient coefficients of variation averaged 11.5%). These data suggest that serial ECT does not produce consistent, significant changes in serum AGP concentrations and should have limited effects on altering the serum protein binding and, therefore, pharmacological effects of concurrently administered cyclic antidepressants.
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Received in revised form: December 20, 1990
Received: June 22, 1990
© 1991 Published by Elsevier Inc.