What is Lithobid?
Lithium compounds are used as a psychiatric medication. A number of salts of lithium are used as mood-stabilizing drugs, primarily in the treatment of bipolar disorder, where they have a role in the treatment of depression and particularly of mania, both acutely and in the long term. As a mood stabilizer, lithium is probably more effective in preventing mania than in preventing depression, and reduces the risk of suicide in people with bipolar disorder. In depression alone (unipolar disorder), lithium can be used to augment other antidepressants. Lithium carbonate (), sold under several trade names, is the most commonly prescribed, while lithium citrate () is also used in conventional pharmacological treatments. Lithium orotate (), has been presented as an alternative. Lithium bromide and lithium chloride have been used in the past, however they fell out of use in the 1940s when it was discovered they were toxic. Many other lithium salts and compounds exist, such as lithium fluoride and lithium iodide, but they are presumed to be toxic substances and have never been evaluated for pharmacological effects.
Upon ingestion, lithium becomes widely distributed in the central nervous system and interacts with a number of neurotransmitters and receptors, decreasing norepinephrine (noradrenaline) release and increasing serotonin synthesis. The specific biochemical mechanism of lithium action in mania is unknown.
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