Lithium Orotate

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One of our patients had some interesting questions about lithium orotate. He said he had come across a couple of research papers that suggested that lithium orotate might have a unique pharmacologic profile, one that reduces adverse effects from lithium while preserving its therapeutic benefit. Lithium orotate is a compound formed from lithium and orotic acid. It is available for …

Lithium Reduces Osteoporosis

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A study in JAMA Psychiatry reveals another potential benefit of lithium treatment. Bipolar patients in general have a significantly higher rate of osteoporosis than the general population, for reasons that are not clear, but could have to do with treatment with antipsychotic medications, a higher rate of alcohol use and a higher rate of tobacco consumption. Thus it is noteworthy …

Denmark Epidemiological Data

Lithium Long Term Effects and the Danish Psychiatric Central Registry

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A series of studies providing the best data on the long term effects of lithium has been coming out of a large database of healthcare use and diagnoses called the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register. Because healthcare is nationalized in Denmark, this register covers a huge population (everyone who ever received psychiatric treatment) and it extends back to 1970. Studies …

Breastfeeding and Psychotropic Medication

Psychotropic Medications and Breastfeeding

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80% of women in the U.S. will experience at least one pregnancy and 84% of babies will be breastfed. In addition, more than half of women use medications during lactation. There are many reasons for using medications during breastfeeding, but the post-partum period is a time of high vulnerability to mood and anxiety episodes, and the effects of a mood …

Predicting Lithium Response

Peter ForsterBipolar Treatment Leave a Comment

Lithium is usually considered the most effective treatment for bipolar disorder. However, at least 30% of lithium-treated patients do not have a clinically significant response; and only 30% have a long-lasting full response. Since close laboratory monitoring is required, and adverse effects are not uncommon, identifying predictors of lithium response is highly desirable. In this largest-ever study of lithium recipients …

Lithium Associated Hypothyroidism May Be Reversible

Peter ForsterBipolar Treatment, Physical Conditions and Health Leave a Comment

People who develop hypothyroidism while using the mood stabilizer lithium may return to normal thyroid function after the drug is discontinued, according to a study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Hypothyroidism—a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone—has long been known to be associated with the use of lithium. Recent studies have clarified the nature of this association. …

Predicting Lithium Response with Functional Brain Imaging

Predicting Lithium Response with Brain Imaging

Peter ForsterBipolar Treatment, Testing Leave a Comment

Predicting lithium response with brain imaging may be an option in the future if the preliminary results of a study published in 2017 are confirmed. Researchers from the University of Cincinnati used three tools to create a program that was remarkably successful at predicting which bipolar patients would respond to lithium. 20 first onset bipolar patients who received adequate trials …

Lithium Mechanism of Action

Peter ForsterBasic Science, Bipolar Treatment, Psychobiology 2 Comments

Understanding the lithium mechanism of action may allow us to predict which bipolar patients will respond to the medication (and which will not) and may shape our understanding of the causes of bipolar disorder itself. Research at the University of California, San Diego could lead to just these kind of breakthroughs in the next few years. In the first of …