Mood stabilisers

What are mood stabilisers? 

Mood stabilisers, including lithium and anticonvulsants such as carbamazepine have been proposed as an alternative therapy to standard antipsychotic treatments when individuals have sub-optimal responses to treatment. Mood stabilisers may be implemented as an immediate therapy for acute symptoms of psychosis, but they may also be used as part of an ongoing treatment regime. Mood stabiliser medications assessed in this topic include lithium as well as anticonvulsant medications.

What is the evidence for mood stabilisers?

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests a large effect of greater improvement in overall symptoms with antipsychotics than with lithium. Moderate quality evidence suggests a medium-sized increased risk of leaving the study early for any reason or due to inefficacy of treatment with lithium than with antipsychotics. Lithium may result in less sleepiness, but more toxic confusion than antipsychotics.

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests a large effect of less need for additional anticholinergic drugs with carbamazepine than with antipsychotics.

October 2019

Last updated at: 1:14 am, 3rd October 2019
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.