Priadel is the most prescribed UK brand of lithium, with around 757,323 items of both strengths prescribed in the 12 months between June 2019 and May 2020 in England, with most prescribed in primary care. Ensure you keep adequately hydrated while taking lithium and maintain an adequate salt intake (your doctor will discuss this requirement). If a patient does not tolerate lithium very well, then alternative bipolar medications may be tried. Adverse effects were the most common cause for lithium discontinuation. At this point, we also checked the records for the exact point of time lithium was discontinued, since this may have preceded discontinuation of the prescription. It is possible to manage the discontinuation of Priadel successfully and without harm to patients with bipolar disorder. Men and women were equally likely to discontinue lithium. 2013;7:16. If you do decide to stop taking Lithium, it is best to have a plan. Unsurprisingly, patients were more likely to discontinue lithium when lacking insight or not wanting to take medication. This calls for further developing of strategies to improve adherence. Not to stop taking lithium abruptly, and that non-compliance may lead to a relapse. Box 1: Practical advice for switching from Priadel to Camcolit, Essential Pharma lithium carbonate or Liskonum, More advice and suggested conversion doses can be found on the online version of this article:[tiny url link to article]. 2017;136:615–22. Hypothyroidism is estimated to occur in about 20 percent to 30 percent of all patients taking lithium. It is also vital that prescribers do not issue higher-than-usual quantities of Priadel for their patients. doi: 10.1176/ajp.154.4.551,  Yazici O, Kora K, Polat A et al. Unnecessary termination of treatment could possibly be avoided if patient received comprehensive information about their pharmacological treatment at an appropriate time. We conducted the statistical analysis with IBM SPSS Statistics (Version 23). The British National Formulary carries a warning that “different versions of modified-release preparations may not have the same clinical effect … [so] prescribers should specify the brand to be dispensed”. All participants provided verbal informed consent. Am J Psychiatry. A practical guide to influencing the availability of medicines, and policies of their use. Make sure you maintain normal fluid and salt intake when taking lithium. Kidney Int. Many studies of … LÖ, SO, MB, MO, and UW extracted the clinical data. As is the case with most medication, care needs to be taken to avoid drug interactions when taking lithium or unanticipated and potentially negative side effects may occur. Polyuria, leading to polydipsia, leading to an increased intake of high caloric sugary drinks is another potential cause. Br J Psychiatry. PLoS One. 2012;27:1361–7. Yet, sugar-sweetened drinks, such as soft drinks and juices, are a major contributor to obesity world-wide . Lithium is FDA approved for the treatment of manic episodes and maintenance of bipolar in patients at least 7 years old. Bipolar Disorder and Anger: Why It Happens and How to Cope. 1). Thus, it was possible to misclassify adverse effects as occurring early, when in fact they occurred late. Indeed, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) suggests that it needs to be considered as if the new product was being started as a new treatment. Switching lithium carbonate tablet brands needs to be done carefully, but it should be possible to make the switch without incident if undertaken properly, with a full discussion with the patient and any carers to explain the need for the change and to make a joint decision about the options. Lancet. Compliance with maintenance treatment in bipolar disorder. For lithium, non-adherence rates vary from 14% to 61% [6, 7]. Psychiatric reasons were given in 44% and physical health reasons in 12% of all episodes (p < 0.001) (Table 2). BMC Psychiatry 18, 37 (2018). Do not drive until you know how lithium will affect you. Patients should be advised to take doses exactly as they did before at the closest dose possible and without a break. A 58-year old woman with manic-depression began taking 800 to 1,600 mgs per day of Lithium… In any case, it has been suggested that renal function declines irrespective of lithium discontinuation – albeit slowly and after decades of treatment . UW, MO, LÖ, RL, MS and ESR provided constructive feedback on the initial study design. (updated 3/2014) This is true for individuals with bipolar disorder as well as for those with schizophrenia. Priebe S, Yeeles K, Bremner S, Lauber C, Eldridge S, Ashby D, et al. Google Scholar. I know for a fact a 90 day supply of lithium is over a grand… Now i hope reading this helps you understand why bipolar people stop taking their meds…. DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2020.20208347. Dr. Puder: Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got interested in this topic. However, our study does not confirm this assumption. Creatinine increases accounted for three times as many episodes of lithium discontinuation in patients with type 1 BPAD or SZD (p < 0.001). Sunderby Research Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Psychiatry, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Division of Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden, Department of Psychiatry, Sunderby Hospital, Luleå, Sweden, Department of Psychiatry, Piteå Älvdals Hospital, Piteå, Sweden, Research and Innovation Unit, Luleå, Norrbotten Region, Sweden, Department of Clinical Science, Division of Psychiatry, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden, Mikael Sandlund & Ellinor Salander Renberg, Sunderby Hospital – Psychiatry, 97180, Luleå, Sweden, You can also search for this author in Equally important is it to understand the factors that influence the initiative to stop. Lithium plus valproate combination therapy versus monotherapy for relapse prevention in bipolar I disorder (BALANCE): a randomised open-label trial. When lithium is stopped, the usual recommendation is to taper it off over about 2-4 weeks in order to minimize the change of a relapse in bipolar disorder. It is recommended by all relevant guidelines as a first-line treatment for maintenance therapy. Terms and Conditions, III. Rosa AR, Marco M, Fachel JM, Kapczinski F, Stein AT, Barros HM. As such adverse effects are perceived as stigmatising, patients may not bring them up. The extraction, validation and analysis were performed in 2016 and 2017. Lithium is a long-term treatment for episodes of mania and depression. California Privacy Statement, Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? A lot of my career has been as a full-time academic, doing research into various features of biological psychiatry, with a particular emphasis on the endocrine system as it applies to psychiatric illness and psychopharmacology. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-018-1622-1. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2017.08.01,  Van Stralen JPM. That is how the lithium works. UK guidance for the treatment of bipolar disorder has an emphasis on medication. That person should … And then there is denial by the patient that they have a mental disorder, and a refusal to see a doctor, or take any medications. Nausea and diarrhoea tended to lead to early discontinuation of lithium. 2010 . This is why the announcement that Priadel, the most prescribed brand of lithium in the UK, is being discontinued from April 2021 has caused so much concern among patients and healthcare providers. All patients should be told to be aware of any changes in how they feel and contact their prescriber, pharmacist or mental health team if they are getting more side effects or less effect. However, we believe that it is possible to manage this change successfully and without harm to patients with bipolar disorder, as there is a ready alternative that can be supplied, albeit at significant additional cost. For instance, lithium associated weight gain could be secondary to hypothyroidism. Avoid alcohol. Cookies policy. This means an individual who suddenly stops taking their medication could experience the symptoms of bipolar disorder … There was no significant difference in proportion of women and men who had continued lithium compared to those who had discontinued lithium. Focuses on the strategic elements of medicines management. Lithium has been the treatment of choice for patients with bipolar disorder (BD) for nearly 70 years. Finally, close collaboration between psychiatric and internal medicine/nephrology service is imperative to minimize discontinuation of lithium in patients who have capacity to benefit. Some patients stop medications when they feel better. But as lithium may remain the treatment of choice for most patients requiring maintenance treatment even in the face of adverse renal effects [9, 10], it is important to understand the reasons for discontinuing lithium. Intentional overdoses were rarely a cause for discontinuing lithium for good. For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. If it's incorrect, you may get side effects such as … ( most commonly interspersed with major depressive episodes ) patients would stop prophylactic treatment weight - use a dose! Mixed mania, rapid cycling type patients and doctors discontinue lithium nearly immediately after initiation to. 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