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Br J Psychiatry. 1986 Oct;149:498-501.

Is there a lithium withdrawal syndrome?


Patients who discontinued lithium after a mean of 29 +/- 21 months prophylaxis were compared with a similar group who were not taking the drug; all had only been in hospital once, and satisfied DSM-III criteria for mania. During the first three months following withdrawal of lithium, significantly more patients relapsed than in the control group; after this period, the rate was identical. These findings suggest that lithium withdrawal exists as a clinical phenomenon and that a period of lithium treatment does not improve the long-term prognosis, once the drug has been stopped.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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