Using Lithium to Treat Patients with Bipolar Disorder

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Pichai Ittasakul


ABSTRACT Objective: To review efficacy of lithium in treatment for patients with bipolar disorder
Method: Systematic review by searching from textbook, pubmed using keywords: lithium, bipolar disorder, mania, depression, acute treatment, maintenance treatment, dose, discontinuation and side effects
Results: Lithium, as monotherapy or augmentation with other medications, has efficacy to treat acute mania and for maintenance treatment in patients with bipolar disorder. For acute bipolar depression, lithium may have efficacy for treatment, but results are conflicting. Nevertheless, lithium can prevent and reduce risk of suicide in bipolar disorder. Common side effects are in central nervous system, cardiovascular, renal, gastrointestinal system and weight gain.
Conclusion: Lithium still has major role in treatment for bipolar disorder especially acute mania and maintenance treatment. Lithium also has anti-suicidal effect. However,
clinician should aware of side effects which can happen and effect adherence to treatment of patients


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How to Cite
Ittasakul, P. (2013). Using Lithium to Treat Patients with Bipolar Disorder. Journal of the Psychiatric Association of Thailand, 57(4), 477–488. Retrieved from
Review Articles
Author Biography

Pichai Ittasakul, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand