Side Effects and toxicity of lithium.

J. T. Apter, A. S. Apter, S. Tyano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although lithium remains the most specific treatment for bipolar affective disorder, it should be cautiously prescribed and used only when clinically indicated. The main indications for lithium are the manic phase of bipolar affective disorder and prophylaxis of both manic and depressive episodes. Lowering serum lithium levels will markedly reduce the incidence of side effects, and patients should be maintained at the lowest possible serum level. The serum level may be as low as 0.4 mEq/L and as high as 1.5 mEq/L, depending on the clinical response of the patient and the presence of side effects. The most controversial areas are the possibility of renal toxicity and the concomitant use of lithium with neuroleptics, especially haloperidol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1101-1106
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Family Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1982


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