How effective is lithium compared to other treatments for acute mania?

BEEM Bottom Line

Why is this study important?

The emergency department (ED) often is the first place a patient suffering an acute manic episode will attend for treatment. Such patients can become severely agitated and are often brought to the ED by family, police, or emergency medical services because of injuries from high-risk activity. The focus of ED care is addressing acute trauma, medical and safety issues. Once accomplished, delays in transfer to psychiatric care could require the patient to have initiation of mood stabilization therapy while in the ED. This systematic review examines the comparative effectiveness of lithium and the reported side effects.

Which, if any, threats to validity are most likely to have an impact on the results and how?

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