here is a report i did on Lithium back when i was in school

Lithium is classified in the Animanic Drugs. Its brand names that can be found are Eskalith, Lithobid, Lithonate, or Lithotabs. It’s generally described as the drug of choice for the management of bipolar disorder; an illness characterized by severe mood swings from depression to mania. John Frederick Joseph Cade first discovered lithium effects on mood stabilization. His findings we’re published in September of 1949 in the Medical Journal of Austria. He tested his theory of uric acid on mice. He knew it worked by the mice calming effect, then prescribed it for humans with “not so relaxed personalities”. Like Mania, Depression and Bipolar.

Symptoms of mania include elation, unusual talkative personality, as if they were on speed. They have inflated self-esteem, hyperactivity, and decreased need for sleep and aggressiveness. Lithium treats and controls the manic episodes of Manic-depressive illness and reduces the frequency and intensity of mood swings. There are several side affects to Lithium. Some mild side affects are mild nausea or diarrhea, urinary incontinence and slight hand tremors. Some more serious side affects are an irregular heartbeat and difficulty breathing. You may also become unusually tired and gain weight. The most serious side affect is developing Hypothyroidism (dry skin, hair loss, depression, goiter, edema, and constipation).

The serious side affects can also be symptoms of and overdose as well. Lithium interacts with many other drugs. Since Lithium is eliminated through the kidneys, people with impaired kidney function that takes the drug have a higher risk of Lithium toxicity. Lithium can also exacerbate conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism, Parkinson’s disease, psoriasis, or schizophrenia. Doctors recommend drinking of water or decaffeinated beverages to avoid activities that cause you to sweat easily. Loss of water can lead to Lithium toxicity. Pregnant or breast-feeding women should not take lithium.

Lithium is a monovalent cation similar to sodium and potassium. It’s not only used for manic-depressives, but also has been used to treat an inappropriate secretion of ADH (SIADH), neutropenia, thyrotoxic crises, and migraine and cluster headaches. It has been used as a medicine since the 1950’s, but not completely understood and approved until the 1970’s.

Lithium affects more than just your body. It also affects your body’s performance. It can reduce your mental alertness affecting your ability to drive and operate machinery properly especially when Lithium therapy is instigated. Lithium should only be used as prescribed by a doctor, and the last resort for someone with uncontrollable bipolar.

Bipolar disorder has an inherent risk of suicide. The determination as to which patients are at risk is difficult to say. If you have had a history of alcohol or substance abuse, social isolation, and suicide attempts you are at a higher risk of either bipolar or may require Lithium treatment.

Lithium intake can take several weeks of treatment to get improvement on your condition; but you must continue to take Lithium at regular intervals even when your symptoms are improved. Consuming more than the prescribed dosage can cause serious side affects. It is important to eat a well balanced diet as well. And don’t change your sleep patterns because it won’t.

It is important to tell your doctor or dentist that you are on Lithium when you are having surgery. Make sure family and friends know about Lithium toxicity and the early signs of it. Lithium can be absorbed seven to eight hours after intake and is usually taken two to three times a day to keep adequate blood levels while on the drug. Blood levels are checked periodically to insure that the Lithium is in a proper range. Lithium competes with sodium for renal excretion and should be used with caution. Lithium is not used as a stimulant in any area of medicine and does not work during an acute spell of mania.

Lithium can be taken by tablets or capsules by mouth, and just like usual pills it can be taken with a glass of water and after a meal or snack. Anyone over 65 years old may have a stronger or more sensitive reaction to Lithium. If you miss a dose, you must take it either two hours before your next dosage or two hours after the next dosage; and never take any extra dosages.

Other studies have shown, that Lithium is being taken into consideration about being a treatment for cancer. They found that Lithium increases the white blood cell count, helping to starve off the effects of radiation and chemotherapy. Lithium has over four hundred reported cases of being used. Bipolar is one of the worst forms of depression, because of the repeated mood swings and numbness. Its cycled with mania and depression; hence the term “manic depressive.” Bipolar can never truly be treated, only stabilized by the drug Lithium; it’s the only safe-proven drug used. One with Bipolar will experience three to four episodes a year. They even want to see if Lithium can cure AIDS. Some call it the “miracle drug” for all its uses. More research is still being done with this drug, so anything else it could do would just make it more miraculous!

Report written in 2001

Sites about Lithium.....

The treatment of bipolar disorder using lithium
Doctors' Answers to
Fact Sheet On Lithium