It was also used as a salt substitute in patients with hypertension, and was at one point present in the soft drink 7-Up. Toxicity can also be caused by taking a slightly higher dose of lithium over time.
All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson HealthAlways consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records. Of these, the most common problems are with the nervous system, but the thyroid, kidneys, parathyroid, and heart may be affected. Note: do NOT measure serum lithium levels from specimen tubes that contain lithium heparin, green top tubes, because this can falsely elevate the levels. Intravenous fluids and a course of dialysis are usually indicated for acute-on-chronic toxicity, along with other possible symptom-specific treatments like drugs for nausea or to control seizures. There are three types of lithium toxicity: acute, chronic, and acute-on-chronic.
Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. After an acute ingestion in asymptomatic patients, serial serum lithium levels should be obtained every 6 hours until there is a downward trend, serum levels are less than 1.5 mEq/L, and patients remain asymptomatic. The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) Toxic Exposures Surveillance System (TESS) reported 4954 cases of lithium exposure in 2002. As mentioned earlier, patients with very high levels after an acute overdose may remain asymptomatic, while patients with chronic intoxication may be seriously ill with only modest levels. Lithium toxicity is another term for a lithium overdose. Acute toxicity can carry somewhat less medical risk and less severe symptoms than the other types, depending on the amount taken, because lithium will clear out of your body more quickly when your system is unused to it. Ⓒ 2020 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reservedSerum Blood Level Test to Prevent Toxic Levels of MedicationDifferences Between Bipolar Disorder and SchizophreniaWhy You Need Regular Blood Tests While Taking LithiumSerum Blood Level Test to Prevent Toxic Levels of MedicationLithium Prescriptions, Precautions, and Side EffectsHow Lithium Is Used as a Mood Stabilizer for Bipolar DisorderHow Mood Stabilizers Are a Cornerstone of Bipolar TreatmentDoes Taking Lithium for Bipolar Disorder Cause Weight Gain?Duration of Medication Can Ensure No Side Effects in Bipolar MedicationSeroquel (Quetiapine) Drug Warnings and Side Effects5 Serious Black Box Warnings About Clozaril (Clozapine)Drug Interactions Between Oral Contraceptives and Bipolar Medications
When you're admitted to the hospital with lithium toxicity, you'll need to stay until your symptoms are gone and your lithium serum level is below 1.5 mEq/L. Because lithium undergoes a distributional phase, serum lithium levels drawn too soon after an acute ingestion can be misleading. Lithium has a narrow therapeutic range, and several well characterised adverse effects limit the potential usefulness of higher doses.
Lithium will clear your system more slowly in chronic toxicity than in the acute type. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you're starting any new over-the-counter or prescription medications to make sure they don't interact with lithium.
Severe cases of chronic toxicity may result in symptoms like: © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Marcia Purse is a mental health writer and bipolar disorder advocate who brings strong research skills and personal experiences to her writing. Serum lithium levels should ideally be drawn at least 6-12 hours after the last therapeutic dose to avoid falsely elevated results.