Clinical use of lithium salts: guide for users and prescribers

for the International Group for Studies of Lithium (IGSLi)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Background: Lithium has been used clinically for 70 years, mainly to treat bipolar disorder. Competing treatments and exaggerated impressions about complexity and risks of lithium treatment have led to its declining use in some countries, encouraging this update about its safe clinical use. We conducted a nonsystematic review of recent research reports and developed consensus among international experts on the use of lithium to treat major mood disorders, aiming for a simple but authoritative guide for patients and prescribers. Main text: We summarized recommendations concerning safe clinical use of lithium salts to treat major mood disorders, including indications, dosing, clinical monitoring, adverse effects and use in specific circumstances including during pregnancy and for the elderly. Conclusions: Lithium continues as the standard and most extensively evaluated treatment for bipolar disorder, especially for long-term prophylaxis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
JournalInternational Journal of Bipolar Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Blood testing
  • Dosing
  • Lithium
  • Side-effects


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