Members Course of the Month

Lithium and Bipolar Disorder in Children

Lithium continues to be highly recommended in international guidelines for the pharmacotherapy of bipolar disorder, but worldwide usage by clinicians seems less frequent than expected. This may be due to a lack of appreciation of the strength of the evidence base favoring lithium use, but also, studies show high discontinuation rates in patients started on lithium, and clinical experience may be similar, leading to a reluctance to initiate prescriptions. The side effect burden of lithium is considerable, and clinicians may not be up-to-date on reasonable strategies for managing side effects. This presentation reviews the advantages and disadvantages of lithium as a treatment in bipolar disorder in children and discusses the major side effects and how they can be optimally managed. Presented by Othman M. Mohammad, M.D. of Baystate Medical Center.

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