10000723 J Clin Psychiatry / Document Archive

Psychiatrist.com Home    Keyword Search

Close [X]

Search Our Sites

Enter search terms below (keywords, titles, authors, or subjects). Then select a category to search and press the Search button. All words are assumed to be required. To search for an exact phrase, put it in quotes. To exclude a term, precede it with a minus sign (-).

Keyword search:

Choose a category:

Choosing the appropriate category will greatly improve your chances of finding the best match.

All files at our sites: J Clin Psychiatry, Primary Care Companion, CME Institute, and MedFair

Search materials from our journals:

Abstracts from The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1996–present, both regular issues and supplements

PDFs of the full text of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1996–present, both regular issues and supplements (Net Society Platinum [paid subscribers])

PDFs of the full text of The Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1999–present

Search CME offerings:

CME Institute, including CME from journals , supplements, and Web activities for instant CME credit (Net Society Gold [registered users]); also includes information about our CME program

CME activities from regular issues of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Net Society Gold [registered users])

CME Supplements from The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Net Society Gold [registered users])


The article you requested is

Lithium for Schizophrenia Revisited: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

J Clin Psychiatry 2004;65:177-186
Copyright 2004 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

To view this item, select one of the options below.

    1. Purchase this PDF for $40
      If you are not a paid subscriber, you may purchase the PDF.
      (You'll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
    2. Subscribe
      Receive immediate full-text access to JCP. You can subscribe to JCP print + online for $166 individual.
      JCP's 75th AnniversaryCelebrate!
      Celebrate JCP's 75th Anniversary with a special online-only subscription price of $75.
    1. Activate
      If you are a paid subscriber to JCP and do not yet have a username and password, activate your subscription now.
    2. Sign in
      As a paid subscriber who has activated your subscription, you have access to the HTML and PDF versions of this item.
  1. Did you forget your password?

Still can't log in? Contact the Circulation Department at 1-800-489-1001 x4 or send an email


Background: Clinicians frequently use lithium to augment antipsychotic medication in schizophrenia. Therefore, we undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis of the use of lithium in the treatment of schizophrenia.

Data sources and study selection: Randomized controlled trials examining lithium (as a sole or an adjunctive compound) in participants with schizophrenia or related disorders were searched in the register of the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group. No language restrictions were applied. The Boolean phrase [lithium* or lithicarb or eskalith or lithobid or lithane or cibalith-s or quilonum or hypnorex] was used to locate articles. The search strategy initially identified 90 references. The authors of the included studies were contacted to obtain original patient data. The data were combined in a meta-analysis. The main outcome parameters were the number of patients with a clinically significant response and the number of patients leaving the studies early.

Results: The meta-analysis includes 20 studies (N = 611). The evidence shows that lithium as a sole agent is ineffective in the treatment of schizophrenia. Eleven trials examined the augmentation of antipsychotics with lithium. More patients who received lithium augmentation than those who received antipsychotics alone were classified as responders. However, the superiority was not consistent across different response thresholds, and when patients with prominent affective symptoms were excluded from the analysis, the advantage of lithium augmentation was not significant (p = .07). Significantly more patients taking lithium left the trials early, suggesting a lower acceptability of lithium augmentation compared with that of taking antipsychotics alone.

Conclusion: Despite some evidence in favor of lithium augmentation, the overall results are inconclusive. A large trial of lithium augmentation of antipsychotic medications will be required in order to detect a benefit of small effect size in patients with schizophrenia who lack affective symptoms.