Efficacy of lithium in mania and
maintenance therapy of bipolar disorder

by
Bowden CL
Department of Psychiatry,
University of Texas Health Science Center
at San Antonio, 78229-3900, USA.
J Clin Psychiatry 2000; 61 Suppl 9:35-40


ABSTRACT

Lithium was introduced in 1949 as a treatment for mania, for which there is still the strongest evidence of its efficacy. It has consistently yielded better results in the treatment of mania than neuroleptics and carbamazepine and equivalent results to divalproex. Its efficacy in bipolar depression remains inadequately studied. Lithium also provides benefit in prophylaxis. However, the percentage of patients persistently benefited is low, because it has both low efficacy in many symptomatic and illness course presentations of the disorder and low tolerability. Converging evidence from clinical and animal studies indicates that a principal behavioral effect of lithium is reduction of motor activity. Lithium is increasingly used in combined treatment regimens, often thereby allowing lower, better tolerated dosing and complementary benefits from drugs with different profiles of action.
Mania
5-HT1B
Lithium
Valproate
Gabapentin
Lamotrigine
Lithium at 50
Anticonvulsants
Bipolar disorders
Drugs for bipolars
Lithium prophylaxis
Prozac and bipolars
Lithium: mechanisms
Lithium augmentation
Lithium and depression
Lithium pharmacokinetics
Recurrent brief depression
Mood stabilisers: common mechanism?
Lithium for bipolars leads to fewer suicides
Lithium prophylaxis in unipolar major depressive disorder


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