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Re: Lithium serum blood test results Sunnely

Posted by Jonathan on October 20, 2000, at 7:13:17

In reply to Re: Lithium serum blood test results Angela5, posted by Sunnely on October 19, 2000, at 20:59:49

> 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.

Hi Sunnely,

This may be an 'off-label' use in the US, but here in the UK lithium is sometimes administered for unipolar depression, often to augment an SSRI or other antidepressant. Dr Bob's tips actually mentions this use, during the transition period from SSRI to MAOI therapy (e.g. before starting an MAOI, a patient on Prozac needs at least five weeks wash-out because of the long half-life of norfluoxetine and consequent risk of serotonin syndrome):

http://www.dr-bob.org/tips/split/Li-bridge-antidep-switch.html

The recommended dose of lithium in unipolar depression is usually lower: a plasma level twelve hours after the last dose of 0.4 to 0.8 mmol/l, typically achievable by taking 300-400 mg of lithium carbonate daily in a single dose.

Higher concentrations than necessary can cause unnecessary side-effects, including cognitive impairment:

http://www.dr-bob.org/tips/split/Lithium-induced-cognitive-.html
http://www.dr-bob.org/tips/split/Word-finding-difficulties-.html
(only the last tip of the second reference mentions lithium)

Best wishes,

Jonathan.


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URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/20001012/msgs/46853.html