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Re: Lithium serum blood test results Angela5

Posted by Sunnely on October 19, 2000, at 20:59:49

In reply to Lithium serum blood test results, posted by Angela5 on October 19, 2000, at 12:11:07

Hi Angela,

The following range is generally considered to be the "therapeutic" blood levels of lithium: 0.8 to 1.2. However, this is not etched in stone. Some people, such as the elderly, generally require much lesser blood level. A lithium level of 0.3 - 0.5 usually is "therapeutic" for them.

Staying within the "therapeutic" level of lithium does not always necessarily mean absence of toxicity. There are people who are more sensitive and may show signs and symptoms of lithium toxicity even within the "therapeutic" level. When it comes to lithium treatment, the clinical picture still remains the best parameter of effectiveness and/or toxicity.

People who are in acute manic stage may require higher lithium level (i.e., at least 0.8 - 1.2) to obtain a clinical response. When the symptoms of mania are stabilized, a lower level (e.g., 0.5 - 0.8) is usually good enough to maintain a remission. However, this issue is also not etched in stone. Everyone is different when it comes to (psychotropic) medication response and sensitivity.

Lithium has a narrow "therapeutic index" (the margin between therapeutic and toxic level). Therefore, it is clinically prudent to stay within the generally considered "therapeutic" levels, and at the same correlating this level with the corresponding clinical picture.


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