Addition of lithium to haloperidol in non-affective, antipsychotic non-responsive schizophrenia: a double blind, placebo controlled, parallel design clinical trial

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Abstract

This double-blind placebo controlled, parallel design clinical trial compared the therapeutic effects of the addition of lithium or placebo to haloperidol in 21 seriously ill state hospital patients with DSM-III-R schizophrenia, who did not have concurrent affective disorders and who had not responded to previous trials of conventional antipsychotic medication. During a baseline period of 6 weeks, patients were switched to a stable dose of haloperidol (mean ± SD dose=13.6±8.1 mg/day). Patients were then randomized to receive either lithium or placebo in addition to haloperidol for 8 weeks (mean ± SD lithium level =0.98±0.13 mEq/1). Symptoms and side effects were assessed weekly. Improvement in symptoms correlated with the non-blind adjustment of antipsychotic dose, but not with lithium or placebo treatment. Side effects ratings did not differ between the two groups, but one patient developed a reversible delirium associated with combined lithium/haloperidol treatment. For these long-term, severely ill patients, combined treatment afforded no advantage over treatment with haloperidol alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-366
Number of pages8
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume111
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1993

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Haloperidol
Lithium
Antipsychotic Agents
Schizophrenia
Placebos
Clinical Trials
Social Adjustment
State Hospitals
Delirium
Therapeutic Uses
Therapeutics
Mood Disorders
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Keywords

  • Antipsychotic
  • Haloperidol
  • Lithium
  • Schizophrenia
  • Treatment resistant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

Cite this

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title = "Addition of lithium to haloperidol in non-affective, antipsychotic non-responsive schizophrenia: a double blind, placebo controlled, parallel design clinical trial",
abstract = "This double-blind placebo controlled, parallel design clinical trial compared the therapeutic effects of the addition of lithium or placebo to haloperidol in 21 seriously ill state hospital patients with DSM-III-R schizophrenia, who did not have concurrent affective disorders and who had not responded to previous trials of conventional antipsychotic medication. During a baseline period of 6 weeks, patients were switched to a stable dose of haloperidol (mean ± SD dose=13.6±8.1 mg/day). Patients were then randomized to receive either lithium or placebo in addition to haloperidol for 8 weeks (mean ± SD lithium level =0.98±0.13 mEq/1). Symptoms and side effects were assessed weekly. Improvement in symptoms correlated with the non-blind adjustment of antipsychotic dose, but not with lithium or placebo treatment. Side effects ratings did not differ between the two groups, but one patient developed a reversible delirium associated with combined lithium/haloperidol treatment. For these long-term, severely ill patients, combined treatment afforded no advantage over treatment with haloperidol alone.",
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