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What is the optimal serum level for lithium in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder? A systematic review and recommendations from the ISBD/IGSLI Task Force on treatment with lithium

journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-10, 05:31 authored by Willem A Nolen, Rasmus W Licht, Allan H Young, Gin S Malhi, Mauricio Tohen, Eduard Vieta, Ralph W Kupka, Carlos Zarate, Rene E Nielsen, Ross J Baldessarini, Emanuel Severus, M Alda, M Bauer, A Berghoefer, Michael BerkMichael Berk, A Bocchetta, CV Calkin, A Duffy, KN Fountoulakis, A Gonzalez-Pinto, T Hajek, LV Kessing, C Lopez-Jaramillo, R Machado-Vieira, RM Post, JK Rybakowski, C Simhandl, JC Soares, L Tondo
AbstractAimsTo systematically review the existing trials on optimal serum levels for lithium for maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder and to develop clinical recommendations.MethodsSystematic literature search. Discussion of major characteristics, limitations, methodological quality, and results of selected trials. Delphi survey consisting of clinical questions and corresponding statements. For statements endorsed by at least 80% of the members, consensus was considered as having been achieved.ResultsWith strict inclusion criteria no studies could be selected, making it difficult to formulate evidence‐based recommendations. After loosening the inclusion criteria 7 trials were selected addressing our aims at least to some extent. Four of these studies suggest better efficacy being associated with lithium serum levels in a range above a lower threshold around 0.45/0.60 and up to 0.80/1.00 mmol/L. These findings support the outcome of the Delphi survey.ConclusionsFor adults with bipolar disorder there was consensus that the standard lithium serum level should be 0.60‐0.80 mmol/L with the option to reduce it to 0.40‐0.60 mmol/L in case of good response but poor tolerance or to increase it to 0.80‐1.00 mmol/L in case of insufficient response and good tolerance. For children and adolescents there was no consensus, but the majority of the members endorsed the same recommendation. For the elderly there was also no consensus, but the majority of the members endorsed a more conservative approach: usually 0.40‐0.60 mmol/L, with the option to go to maximally 0.70 or 0.80 mmol/L at ages 65‐79 years, and to maximally 0.70 mmol/L over age 80 years.

History

Journal

BIPOLAR DISORDERS

Volume

21

Pagination

394-409

Location

Denmark

ISSN

1398-5647

eISSN

1399-5618

Language

English

Issue

5

Publisher

WILEY