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Lithium Carbonate and Ethanol Induced "Highs" in Normal Subjects

Lewis L. Judd, MD; R. Bruce Hubbard, MD; Leighton Y. Huey, MD; Paul A. Attewell; David S. Janowsky, MD; Kenneth I. Takahashi
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1977;34(4):463-467. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770160097008.
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• The responses of twenty-three normal male subjects to a standardized dose of 95% ethanol (1.32 ml/kg of body weight) were compared after two weeks of placebo and two weeks of therapeutic serum lithium ion levels (mean 0.91 mEq/liter). The study was a placebo controlled, split-half crossover, doubleblind design. Prealcohol and postalcohol responses were assessed by self-rating scales of affect and mood, independent rater observation, perceptual-motor, and cognitive performance tasks. Pretreatment by lithium carbonate neither blocked nor dampened an alcohol-induced subjective "high" in normal subjects. A complex reciprocal interaction may exist between the effects of lithium and alcohol upon other behavioral attributes. Alcohol was seen to reverse aspects of lithiuminduced dysphoria and there is a suggestion that lithium may attenuate alcohol-induced cognitive inefficiency.


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