What are the dangers of taking lithium?
Lithium can cause nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, change in heart rhythm, muscle weakness, fatigue, and a dazed feeling. These unwanted side effects often improve with continued use. Fine tremor, frequent urination, and thirst can occur and may persist with continued use.
Can lithium damage your brain?
Serum lithium levels of 1.5-2.0 mM may have mild and reversible toxic effects on kidney, liver, heart, and glands. Serum levels of >2 mM may be associated with neurological symptoms, including cerebellar dysfunction. Prolonged lithium intoxication >2 mM can cause permanent brain damage.
Does lithium prevent cancer?
Lithium, the gold-standard treatment for bipolar disorder (BD), has been linked to a significantly reduced cancer risk in a dose-dependent manner in a new study.
Does lithium cause kidney cancer?
Although long-term lithium use may be associated with other renal adverse effects, it is reassuring that lithium use does not appear to induce renal cancer, and that lithium can be kept on the armamentarium for conditions as debilitating as bipolar disorder and severe unipolar depression.
Does taking lithium shorten your life?
At high doses, lithium reduced their lifespan. “We found low doses not only prolong life but also shield the body from stress and block fat production for flies on a high sugar diet,” said co-researcher Dr Ivana Bjedov from the UCL Cancer Institute.
What is an alternative to lithium?
Second generation mood stabilizing anticonvulsants carbamazepine and valproate are now widely used as alternatives or adjuncts to lithium.
How long can you stay on lithium?
If you have bipolar disorder, you may be offered lithium for a longer period, to prevent or reduce your risk of relapse. Your doctor may suggest that you commit to taking lithium for at least six months, possibly longer. This is because it can take some time to make sure the medication is working effectively.
What is end stage bipolar disorder?
Late stages are characterized by chronic cognitive and functional impairment, often with subsyndromal mood symptoms and are associated with refractoriness to standard treatment options. There is a paucity of clinical trials examining the differential impact of treatments on different stages of illness.
Does lithium cause dementia?
One study suggested an increasing risk of dementia with increasing numbers of lithium prescriptions,7 whereas the other study found that patients receiving long-term lithium therapy had decreased prevalence of Alzheimer disease compared with patients not receiving recent lithium therapy.
Can bipolar cause cancer?
The study reveals that people with bipolar disorder have an increased risk of developing cancer, approximately 20% higher than in the general population. This risk is particularly high (around 30%) if we consider breast cancer in women with bipolar disorder.
Does lithium cause breast cancer?
These data indicate that therapeutic concentrations of lithium can stimulate the proliferation of human breast cancer cells by a mechanism that may involve the phosphoinositide pathway.
Can lithium cause excessive thirst?
Polyuria/polydipsia. Excessive urination and thirst (polyuria and polydipsia) are consistently found to be among the most common side effects associated with lithium with rates up to 70% in long-term patients (Bone et al.
Is lithium hard on your kidneys?
How does lithium cause kidney damage? Lithium may cause problems with kidney health. Kidney damage due to lithium may include acute (sudden) or chronic (long-term) kidney disease and kidney cysts. The amount of kidney damage depends on how long you have been taking lithium.
Can lithium affect your thyroid?
Lithium can cause goiter and hypothyroidism, and its use has been associated with both thyroid autoimmunity and hyperthyroidism [6,7].