Update: New Uses for Lithium and Anticonvulsants

  title={Update: New Uses for Lithium and Anticonvulsants},
  author={Jennifer Rosenberg and Carl Salzman},
  journal={CNS Spectrums},
  pages={831 - 841}
ABSTRACT Anticonvulsants are being used clinically as monotherapy and adjuncts in mental illnesses other than affective disorders. This review focuses on the literature for anticonvulsants and lithium in substance use disorders, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia. Given the abuse potential and other difficulties with prescribing benzodiazepines for alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal, anticonvulsants have been considered as an alternative. Promising therapeutic effects have been… 
Varying uses of anticonvulsant medications.
Anticonvulsant medications most commonly prescribed by psychiatrists are primarily used for bipolar disorder and anxiety; neurologists most commonly prescribe topiramate, gabapentin, and levetiracetam; and these indications account for less than 10 percent of uses for the top products commonly prescribe by neurologists.
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The use of gabapentin, lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine, and tiagabine, compared with the use of topiramate, may be associated with an increased risk of suicidal acts or violent deaths.
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New uses for lithium and anticonvulsants.
  • C. Salzman
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    Harvard review of psychiatry
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Clinical observations and open clinical trials are beginning to suggest additional therapeutic roles for lithium and several anticonvulsant medications, with strong evidence for lithium's role in augmenting antidepressant therapy and for lamotrigine.
Valproate in anxiety and withdrawal syndromes.
The role of nonbenzodiazepine anticonvulsants is a promising one which needs to be further delineated with careful, controlled studies.
Benzodiazepines and anticonvulsants for social phobia (social anxiety disorder).
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  • Psychology, Biology
    The Journal of clinical psychiatry
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Among the anticonvulsants, gabapentin and pregabalin, an analogue of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), have been shown to be more effective than placebo in double-blind studies.
Add-on gabapentin in the treatment of opiate withdrawal
Topiramate in benzodiazepine withdrawal
Topiramate acts, among others, as an AMPA antagonist, which may be responsible in part for its anticonvulsant efficacy, but may also modulate the withdrawal‐induced activation of noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus, which are related to some behavioural effects of benzodiazepine withdrawal.
Gabapentin for the treatment of ethanol withdrawal
Both sets of data suggest that gabapentin works well for the mild to moderate alcohol withdrawal patient, and the positive relationship between prior ethanol use and inpatient “as needed” benzodiazepine use is reached.
Treatment of alcohol withdrawal with gabapentin
The use of tiagabine augmentation for treatment-resistant anxiety disorders: a case series.
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A case series of five patients who were prescribed tiagabine for treatment-resistant anxiety is presented, highlighting the need for further research into this area.
Carbamazepine as an adjunct of antipsychotic therapy