Treatment and prophylaxis of mania, bipolar disorder and recurrent depression.
Although lithium has been used for over 50 years in treatment of bipolar disorder, the mechanism of action is still unknown. Lithium's therapeutic action may be due to a number of effects, ranging from inhibition of enzymes such as glycogen synthase kinase 3, inositol phosphatases, or modulation of glutamate receptors. Lithium Carbonate alters intraneuronal metabolism of catecholamines and sodium transport in neurons and muscle cells.
Dosage & Administration
Adult and child over 12 years: initially 1 gm to 1.5 gm daily; prophylaxis, initially 300-400 mg daily. Should be taken with food.
Reduced serum levels with carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, chlorpromazine, sodium-containing preparations, theophylline, urea. Enhanced hypothyroid effects with iodine salts. Enhanced effects of neuromuscular-blocking agents. Reduced pressor response to sympathomimetics.
Renal insufficiency, cardiovascular insufficiency, Addison's disease and untreated hypothyroidism are all contraindications to lithium therapy.
Tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, hands shaking, memory problems, increased thirst and consequently passing urine more often by day, and perhaps also by night.
Pregnancy & Lactation
Pregnancy Category D. An increased incidence of cardiovascular abnormality has been noted in infants of women given lithium during the first 3 months of pregnancy, such use should be avoided unless essential. Breast feeding is not advised unless the benefits of lithium use outweigh the advantages.
Precautions & Warnings
Decreased tolerance to lithium has been reported to ensue from protracted sweating or diarrhoea and, if such occur, supplemental fluid and salt should be administered under careful medical supervision and lithium intake reduced or suspended until the condition is resolved.
Use in Special Populations
Renal Impairment: CrCl 10-50: 50-75% of normal dose.
In the event of accumulation, lithium should be stopped and serum estimations should be carried out every six hours.Under no circumstances should a diuretic be used. Osmotic diuresis (mannitol or urea infusion) or alkalinisation of the urine (sodium lactate or sodium bicarbonate infusion) should be initiated. If the serum lithium level is over 4.0 mmol/L, or if there is a deterioration in the patient's condition, or if the serum lithium concentration is not falling at a rate corresponding to a half-life of under 30 hours, peritoneal or haemodialysis should be instituted promptly. This should be continued until there is no lithium in the serum or dialysis fluid. Serum lithium levels should be monitored for at least a further week to take account of any possible rebound in serum lithium levels as a result of delayed diffusion from body tissues.
Store at 25° C