Tolvaptan: a new tool for the effective treatment of hyponatremia in psychotic disorders.

Richard C Josiassen
Jessica Curtis
Dawn M Filmyer
Brett Audino
Nina Skuban
Rita A Shaughnessy


IMPORTANCE OF THE FIELD: Hyponatremia (serum sodium concentration < 136 mEq/liter) is a common and potentially life-threatening medical comorbidity seen in patients with psychotic disorders. Tolvaptan, a selective antagonist of the V(2)-receptor, is FDA-approved for the treatment of clinically significant hypervolemic and euvolemic hyponatremia. This represents a major development in the care of psychotic individuals with hyponatremia.

AREAS COVERED IN THE REVIEW: This review provides an overview of the existing literature on prevalence rates and risk factors associated with hyponatremia in psychotic patients (1923 - present). Tolvaptan is discussed as a potential advance in the treatment of hyponatremia in patients with psychotic disorders, and preliminary data are reviewed.

WHAT THE READER WILL GAIN: The reader will gain an appreciation of the prevalence of hyponatremia among psychotic individuals, an understanding of the distinctions between acute and chronic hyponatremia in this population, and awareness that effective treatments are becoming available.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: A modest literature exists regarding prevalence rates and risk factors associated with hyponatremia in psychotic populations. Hyponatremia is common and serious enough to merit clinical concern. Perhaps, now that tolvaptan has been FDA-approved, progress will accelerate and new insights will develop that begin to bring relief from this medical comorbidity among psychotic patients.