Alternative prophylactic treatments to lithium in bipolar disorders

M. C. Mauri, M. Percudani, M. G. Regazzetti, A. C. Altamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The research literature on alternative drug treatments to lithium therapy for the prevention of recurrences in bipolar disorders is discussed. In particular, the data on anticonvulsants (carbamazepine and valproic acid), antidepressants (alprazolam), and calcium channel blockers (verapamil) are reviewed and original data on clonazepam (CLN) are reported. In a preliminary study on six patients with bipolar disorders (DSM-III-R) without a history of psychotic features in which lithium prophylaxis was ineffective, contraindicated, or badly tolerated, CLN was administered in combination with lowdose neuroleptics or antidepressants in all but one case. All subjects were followed for 13 to 34 months. There were no relapses during the observation period with CLN dose regimens ranging from 1.5-8 mg/day p.o. Side effects were minimal and mostly consisted of transient sedation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Neuropharmacology
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 1990


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidepressants
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Clonazepam
  • Lithium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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