Folic acid enhances lithium prophylaxis

J Affect Disord. 1986 Jan-Feb;10(1):9-13. doi: 10.1016/0165-0327(86)90043-1.


A double-blind trial was carried out to investigate the effect on affective morbidity of a daily supplement of 200 micrograms folic acid or a matched placebo in a group of 75 patients on lithium therapy. During the trial the patients with the highest plasma folate concentrations showed a significant reduction in their affective morbidity. Patients who had their plasma folate increased to 13 ng/ml or above had a 40% reduction in their affective morbidity. It is suggested that a daily supplement of 300-400 micrograms folic acid would be useful in long-term lithium prophylaxis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bipolar Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Folic Acid / blood
  • Folic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Lithium / blood
  • Lithium / therapeutic use*
  • Lithium Carbonate
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychological Tests
  • Random Allocation


  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Lithium Carbonate
  • Folic Acid
  • Lithium