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Medical sciences have paved the way from traditional treatment methods to using specialized materials for treating disorders. One of such unusual elements is lithium. It is a mood-stabilizing drug that treats psychotic conditions such as mania, hypomania, depression, etc. This blog has discussed lithium, its therapeutic range, indications, and more.

Before starting with therapy, it is essential to understand the gravity and severity of the situation/condition, dose individualization, concentrations, and everything.

Therapeutic Range Of Lithium

Lithium does not have a broad therapeutic range; therefore, any change in the dietary intake, which includes fluid levels or any other ailment, can significantly taint its effectiveness. The reference average therapeutic range of lithium is 0.8 to 1.2 mEq/L.

Maintaining adequate lithium level in the body is of prime importance since overdose can cause toxicity and a wide variety of effects. The main purpose of lithium is to minimize the severity, symptoms, and frequency of manic episodes and prevent bipolar depression.

Lithium – Indications

It is a psychotropic drug and is used in the treatment of mood disorders discussed below.

Manic Episodes (Acute)

Lithium is a mood stabilizer that is useful in both ways, with or without an adjunct therapy.

Bipolar Depression (Acute)

At first, lithium served as a first-line drug for bipolar depression. Later, its effectiveness was questioned, and the results were negative. However, its use was re-evaluated as a mood stabilizer and was successful. It is a suitable choice for prophylactic treatment of bipolar disorder at lower doses.

Lithium Out Of Therapeutic Range – Toxicity

You must understand that side effects are not toxicity. A side effect is merely an unwanted effect of the drug on the body, while toxicity is poisoning.

There are 3 categories of lithium toxicity ranging from mildly uncomfortable to severe and fatal if left untreated.

Acute lithium toxicity –Symptoms include weakening of the body or lethargy, tremors, unbalanced walk or poor coordination, diarrhea, etc.

Acute-on-chronic lithium toxicity –At this level, the symptoms mentioned above will include GI (gastro-intestinal) ones as well. Additionally, neurological problems may be seen.

Chronic lithium toxicity– This is a severe level and mainly includes neurological symptoms.

Lithium Toxicity – Early Signs

Here are some common signs that may indicate that lithium is out of the therapeutic range in the body:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Unclear vision
  • Increase in thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Uncontrollable bowel and urinary movements
  • Lightheadedness or drowsy feeling
  • Confusion
  • Blackouts
  • Shaking of weak muscle – cramp, spasm, or even jerks that affect various body parts, including the face.
  • Speaking issues

Lithium shows its toxicity mainly in the kidneys and CNS, the central nervous system. In case of acute lithium poisoning, your GI tract will be in trouble too.

You may notice neurological or cardiovascular changes as the case progresses to severity. Initially, it starts with mild confusion. With time, you may have seizures or go into a coma.

Final Take Out

We recommend getting a complete checkup with a professional for psychological help. In case of queries, give doctors fromFamily Diagnostic Clinica call. Our experts will guide you till you get the proper treatment.

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