Increase in white blood cell count and serum sodium level following the addition of lithium to carbamazepine treatment among three chronically psychotic male patients with disturbed affective states

Psychiatr Q. 1986-1987 Fall;58(3):213-7. doi: 10.1007/BF01064735.


Three male chronically psychotic patients (mean age 33.0 +/- S.D. 7.2 years), two with schizoaffective disorder and one with organic affective disorder, received carbamazepine (CBZ) because of affective symptoms (and, in one case, partial complex seizures) refractory to management with antipsychotic drugs. Coincident with CBZ administration (and clinical improvement), hyponatremia developed thought to be due to the antidiuretic effect of this drug. Lithium was added to counteract the antidiuretic effect of CBZ. Further clinical improvement ensured, serum sodium levels became normal, and there was an increase in the white blood cell count in each patient. The clinical implications of our findings are discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affective Disorders, Psychotic / blood
  • Affective Disorders, Psychotic / drug therapy*
  • Carbamazepine / adverse effects*
  • Carbamazepine / pharmacology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Hyponatremia / chemically induced*
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Leukocytosis / chemically induced*
  • Lithium / pharmacology
  • Lithium / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / blood
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Sodium / blood


  • Carbamazepine
  • Lithium
  • Sodium