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Adverse effects/events

from lithium p. 598


lithium toxicity p. 593

Bipolar disorder p. 584

lithium for p. 598

Diabetes insipidus p. 351

lithium p. 598

lithium toxicity p. 593

Ebstein anomaly p. 287, 304, 306

fetal lithium exposure p. 638

lithium p. 598

Hypothyroidism p. 346, 347

lithium p. 598

Lithium p. 598

for bipolar disorder p. 584, 726

diabetes insipidus and p. 250, 351

hypothyroidism p. 347

prenatal exposure p. 306, 306

teratogenicity p. 638

therapeutic index of p. 235

thyroid functions with p. 250

toxicity of p. 593

Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus p. 215, 351

lithium toxicity p. 593

Polyuria p. 624

lithium as cause p. 598

Pregnancy p. 657

lithium in p. 306, 306

Teratogens p. 638

lithium as p. 598


lithium toxicity p. 593

External Links


Lithium is mainly used for the treatment of bipolar disorder, which is a mental disorder characterized by periods of lowered mood and depression; as well as periods of heightened mood and mania.

Although the mechanism of action is relatively unknown, lithium acts as a mood stabilizer, that can smooth out the highs and lows they experience.

Alright, the average healthy individual might have normal ups and downs throughout their life. They can feel happy on a sunny day or a bit down when it’s raining outside.

They might also have some extreme highs, like when they meet the love of their life, and they might even have some pretty serious lows after losing a job or a person they were close to.

However in bipolar disorder, which used to be called manic depression, the patient has dramatic shifts in emotions, mood, and energy levels: moving from extreme lows to extreme highs.

These shifts usually happen over several days or weeks.

The low moods are identical to those in major depressive disorder, also known as unipolar depression.

Individuals with this feel hopeless and discouraged; have a lack of energy and mental focus; and have physical symptoms, like eating and sleeping too much or too little.

But along with these lows, they have periods of high moods as well, which are called manic episodes or hypomanic episodes, depending on their level of severity.

In a manic state, people feel energetic; overly happy and optimistic; or even euphoric with really high self-esteem.

And on the surface, these might seem like very positive characteristics, but when an individual is in a full manic episode, these symptoms can reach a dangerous extreme.

Patients experiencing mania behave recklessly, they can have pressured speech, where they talk constantly at a rapid-fire pace, or they might have racing thoughts, and feel as if they don’t need sleep.

Manic episodes also include delusions of grandeur, for example they might believe that they are on a personal mission from god, or that they have supernatural powers.


  1. "Katzung & Trevor's Pharmacology Examination and Board Review,12th Edition" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2018)
  2. "Rang and Dale's Pharmacology" Elsevier (2019)
  3. "Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 13th Edition" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2017)
  4. "Timing of onset of lithium relapse prevention in bipolar disorder: evidence from randomised trials" Br J Psychiatry (2018)
  5. "Lithium: still a major option in the management of bipolar disorder" CNS Neurosci Ther (2012)
  6. "Lithium Use in Pregnancy and the Risk of Cardiac Malformations" N Engl J Med (2017)

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