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April 1970

Lithium Carbonate as a Mood and Total Body Water Stabilizer

Author Affiliations

Sheffield, England
From the Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, England.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;22(4):301-303. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01740280013003

LITHIUM carbonate has been increasingly used in psychiatry since 1949.1 The evidence so far suggests that it is effective in at least a proportion of patients suffering from manic-depressive illness, and more recently interest in lithium carbonate has turned to the possibility that it acts prophylactically in some patients.2-3 It is felt that it prevents the large and recurrent mood swings which might otherwise occur, but knowledge of its action is scanty. In view of its potential serious toxic effects when given to patients,4,5 further information about its action is needed. Platman and Fieve6, have again noted that none of the current biological hypotheses in the affective disorders provides a satisfactory explanation for the clinical efficacy of lithium carbonate and they have emphasized that there are problems when there is concomitant chlorpromazine therapy. Its effect on