Is lithium in a class of its own? A brief profile of its clinical use

Malhi, Gin S., Adams, Danielle and Berk, Michael 2009, Is lithium in a class of its own? A brief profile of its clinical use, Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry, vol. 43, no. 12, pp. 1096-1104, doi: 10.3109/00048670903279937.

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Title Is lithium in a class of its own? A brief profile of its clinical use
Author(s) Malhi, Gin S.
Adams, Danielle
Berk, MichaelORCID iD for Berk, Michael
Journal name Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry
Volume number 43
Issue number 12
Start page 1096
End page 1104
Total pages 9
Publisher Sage
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2009-12
ISSN 0004-8674
Keyword(s) bipolar disorder
Summary Lithium is a unique and effective psychotropic agent with a long-standing history of clinical use yet it is increasingly overlooked in lieu of newer agents. The purpose of the present paper was to succinctly review the therapeutic profile of lithium particularly with respect to the treatment of mood disorders and consider its unique properties and clinical utility. A comprehensive literature review pertaining to lithium was undertaken using electronic database search engines to identify relevant clinical trials, meta-analyses and Cochrane reviews. In addition articles and book chapters known to the authors were carefully reviewed, and the authors appraised published guidelines. The evidence from these sources was rated using National Health and Medical Research Council evidence levels and synthesized according to phenotype and mood states. In addition, the authors have drawn upon published guidelines and their own clinical experience. Lithium has specificity for mood disorders with proven efficacy in the treatment of both unipolar depression and bipolar disorder. The recommendations are based predominantly on Level I evidence, but its clinical use has to be tempered against potential side-effects and the need for ongoing monitoring. In practice, lithium should be considered a first-line option in bipolar disorder, especially in prophylaxis and when onset of action is not an imperative. Lithium has been in use in modern medicine for 60 years and as such has been tried and tested across the full range of mood disorders. Arguably, lithium is the only true mood stabilizer and because of its unique properties is in a class of its own.
Language eng
DOI 10.3109/00048670903279937
Field of Research 110319 Psychiatry (incl Psychotherapy)
Socio Economic Objective 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, Sage Publications
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