Lithium Side Effect Mnemonic
Lithium, is the most widely used and studied medication for treating bipolar disorder. It helps reduce the severity and frequency of mania. It may also help relieve bipolar depression. Studies show that lithium can significantly reduce suicide risk. It also helps prevent future manic and depressive episodes. As a result, it may be prescribed for long periods of time (even between episodes) as maintenance therapy. Lithium is the Drug of choice for Bipolar disorders.
It usually takes several weeks for lithium to begin working. Your doctor will want to take regular blood tests during your treatment because lithium can affect kidney or thyroid function. It is important that the lithium level in your body not be too low or too high. Your doctor will also probably suggest you drink eight to12 glasses of water or fluid a day during treatment and use a normal amount of salt in your food. Both salt and fluid can affect the levels of lithium in your blood, so it’s important to consume a steady amount every day.
The dose of lithium varies among individuals and as phases of their illness change. Although bipolar disorder is often treated with more than one drug, some people can control their condition with lithium alone.
Mechanism of action:
- Prevents recycling of inositol (decreases PIP2)
- Decreases cAMP
Common side effects can include:
- Hand tremor (If tremors are particularly bothersome, an additional medication can help.)
- Increased thirst
- flu-like symptoms
- Increased urination
- Weight gain
- Impaired memory
- Poor concentration
- Muscle weakness
- Hair loss
- Hypothyroidism with goiter (Decreases TSH effect, by binding to TSH receptors),
- Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (Decreases ADH effect, by binding to ADH receptors); manage with Amiloride,
- Ebstein’s anomaly (teratogenic side effect, if used during pregnancy)
Benefit of Lithium in other disorders:
- Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone secretion (SIADH): Because Lithium works as ADH antagonist.
Other drugs that are used in Bipolar disorders:
- Valproic acid
[expand title=”References:”] – webmd