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Pharmacopsychiatry. 1996 May;29(3):103-7.

Effect of prophylactic treatment on suicide risk in patients with major affective disorders. Data from a randomized prospective trial.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.


Recent findings have indicated that lithium treatment markedly reduces suicide risk in major affective disorders. To compare the effect of lithium with carbamazepine and amitriptyline, suicidal behavior was analyzed during the randomized prospective long-term MAP study (N = 378; duration 2.5 years). Of the nine suicides and five attempted suicides, none took place during lithium treatment. The findings support the view that lithium has a specific antisuicidal effect over and above its prophylactic benefit.

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