Lithium revisited.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To review lithium's utility in the treatment of mood disorders. METHOD We reviewed the safety, tolerability, teratogenicity, optimal dosing regimens, and mortality-lowering effects of lithium. Clinical relevance and scientific rigour determined which articles we selected for review. RESULTS Lithium is the paradigmatic treatment for bipolar disorder (BD). In treating BD, optimal maintenance plasma levels may be approximately 0.75 to 0.85 mEq/L. Although nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is not uncommon, irreversible renal failure due to lithium appears to be a rare, idiosyncratic event. Lithium-induced cardiovascular teratology appears to be less common than previously thought. Optimal lithium dosing may be once daily, this agent appears to bestow a robust suicide-lowering effect, and emerging data hint at neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects. CONCLUSION Lithium remains an effective and integral agent in the treatment of BD. Its ability to lower suicide rates in persons with BD warrants clinical attention.

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@article{McIntyre2001LithiumR, title={Lithium revisited.}, author={Roger S. McIntyre and Deborah A Mancini and Sagar V. Parikh and Sidney H. Kennedy}, journal={Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie}, year={2001}, volume={46 4}, pages={322-7} }