Combinations of mood-stabilizers with antipsychotics as treatment strategies in hospitalized psychiatric patients

Franca Centorrino, Gabriele Sani, Kate V. Fogarty, Paola Salvatore, Alessandra Talamo, Stephanie L. Cincotta, Ross J. Baldessarini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Object: Since psychotropic polytherapy is widely used despite limited evidence of efficacy and safety, we evaluated combinations of mood-stabilizers with antipsychotics. We also compared current findings with prior samples, to evaluate changes in psychotropic prescription practices involving antipsychotic-mood stabilizer treated inpatients. Method: Medical records of McLean Hospital inpatients treated with antipsychotics for ≥ 3 consecutive days during March-May 2002 were reviewed. In 344 inpatients prescribed an antipsychotic in 2002, we contrasted those also given a mood-stabilizer or not regarding clinical features, type and doses of all psychotropics, and clinical changes during hospitalization. Results: Mood-stabilizers were given to 63.7% (n=219) of antipsychotic-treated subjects. Usage ranked: divalproex > gabapentin > lithium > lamotrigine = topiramate > carbamazepine > oxcarbazepine > levitiracetam; 22% (n=76) of all 344 subjects received ≥ 2 mood-stabilizers. Diagnoses associated with combination-treatment ranked: major affective (54%) > primary psychotic (26%) > other (19%). Conclusions: Mood-stabilizer co-treatment remains prevalent, particularly combinations of anticonvulsants with modern antipsychotics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-326
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Neuropsychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


  • Anticonvulsant
  • Antipsychotic combination therapy
  • Lithium
  • Mood stabilizer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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