INTRODUCTION. Lithium, valproic acid and carbamazepine are the most used mood stabilizers and anticonvulsant drugs. They share the depletion of myo-inositol in the central nervous system as mechanism of action. However, such therapies may expose patients to several side effects that negatively influence their quality of life, leading to a poor compliance and a poor prognosis. Gathering scientific evidence explaining why myo-inositol supplementation may recover side effects without dampening the central therapeutic action of these drugs is the purpose of this review.
MATERIALS AND METHODS. We reviewed literature searching through different databases. We used different keywords, including mood stabilizers, anticonvulsant drugs, mechanisms of action, inositol depletion, bipolar disorder, and epilepsy.
RESULTS. We reported all the most common complications in patients taking lithium, valproic acid or carbamazepine related to inositol depletion in peripheral tissues. Interestingly, the efficacy of myo-inositol supplementation in recovering the adverse effects occurring during the treatment corroborates its use in such patients.
CONCLUSIONS. Concerning the chronic use of these drugs, it is intriguing to explore the role of myo-inositol supplementation to recover, or altogether avoid, the emerging side effects without dampening the central therapeutic action, thanks to a dosage that poorly crosses the blood brain barrier.