You’ve tried 10, 12, even 14 or more medications for your bipolar depression and they just haven’t worked well enough. Well, maybe your doctor should consider adding another type of treatment altogether. The thyroid hormone triiodothyronine – better known as T3 – has been shown to be effective for treatment-resistant depression in patients with bipolar disorder.
A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders was a chart review of about 160 patients, mostly with bipolar II disorder, who had tried an average of 14 different drugs for their depression, who were given T3 from 2002 to 2006. The results were impressive: a whopping 84% of the patients experienced improvement, and 33% full remission. Not one experienced a switch into mania. Although the doses were higher than normal for many patients, the researchers report that the medication was well-tolerated, although 16 patients (10%) dropped out because of side effects.
The authors do point out that a chart review study has its limitations, but this is still exceedingly hopeful news for those of us whose depression stubbornly hangs on.