The Antiviral Side of Lithium

April 15, 2020

Lithium has successfully deterred over a dozen viruses, but how will it affect the novel coronavirus? In this podcast, Chris Aiken, MD, speaks with Janusz Rybakowski, PhD, MD, a pioneer in lithium research who helped discover its antiviral properties.

For more information, see Lithium in a Time of Coronavirus.

PSYCHPEARLS PODCAST

Psychiatric medications have been fighting infections for decades. The MAOIs were originally used to treat tuberculosis. Thioridazine has been rediscovered as a treatment for antibiotic-resistant infections,1 and lithium doubles as an antiviral agent.2

In this podcast, I speak with Janusz Rybakowski, PhD, MD, a pioneer in lithium research who helped discover its antiviral properties.

Disclosures:

Dr Aiken is the Mood Disorders Section Editor for Psychiatric Times, the Editor in Chief of The Carlat Psychiatry Report, and the Director of the Mood Treatment Center. His written several books on mood disorders, most recently The Depression and Bipolar Workbook. He can be heard in the weekly Carlat Psychiatry Podcast with his co-host Kellie Newsome, PMH-NP. The author does not accept honoraria from pharmaceutical companies but receives royalties from PESI for The Depression and Bipolar Workbook and from W.W. Norton & Co. for Bipolar, Not So Much.

References:

1. Lagadinou M, Onisor MO, Rigas A, et al. Antimicrobial properties on non-antibiotic drugs in the era of increased bacterial resistance. Antibiotics (Basel). 2020;9(3):E107. Published 2020 Mar 2.

2. Rybakowski JK. Antiviral and immunomodulatory effect of lithium. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2000;33(5):159–164.