The British Journal of Psychiatry


A controlled double-blind evaluation of lithium and chlorpromazine in acute manic states is reported.

Analysis of the results shows that lithium produced a highly significant improvement in the manic-depressive (manic phase) patients but no significant change in the schizoaffective (excited) patients. Chlorpromazine produced significant improvement in both diagnostic groups.

An analysis of the differences of the two treatments showed that lithium produced the greater change in the manic-depressives, whereas chlorpromazine produced more change than lithium in the schizoaffective group. These differences, however, did not reach statistical significance.

The importance of diagnosis for treatment outcome is discussed. Lithium is an effective and specific agent for the control of the manic phase of manic-depressive illness.