The Suppression of Recurrent Herpes Simplex Virus Infections with Lithium Carbonate

  • Jay D. Amsterdam
  • Greg Maislin


There has been considerable interest in the possibility that some psychiatric disorders may be caused by viral infections (Kurstak et al., 1987), and that some psychotropic drugs may possess antiviral activity (Chang, 1975; Wunderlich et al., 1980; Bohn et al., 1983; Patou et al., 1986). In particular, several lines of evidence indicate that lithium salts may possess antiviral activity, especially toward herpes simplex virus (HSV). For example, several clinical reports have suggested that lithium may suppress the reactivation of latent HSV and reduce the number of recurrent infections (Lieb, 1979; Skinner, 1983; Gilis, 1983), while several in vitro studies have demonstrated that lithium can inhibit the replication of HSV by interfering with DNA synthesis (Skinner et al., 1980; Hartley, 1983; Bach and Specter, 1988; Buchan et al., 1988). In view of these interesting reports, we performed a series of clinical studies to examine the putative anti-herpesvirus activity of lithium carbonate in humans.


Herpes Simplex Virus Type Genital Herpes Lithium Therapy Herpes Infection Oral Acyclovir 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jay D. Amsterdam
    • 1
    • 2
  • Greg Maislin
    • 1
  1. 1.Depression Research Unit, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.The Wistar InstitutePhiladelphiaUSA

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