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Chapter 35. Lithium

Marlene P. Freeman, M.D.; Christopher B. Wiegand, M.D.; Alan J. Gelenberg, M.D.
DOI: 10.1176/appi.books.9781585623860.413828

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First used in the 1800s as a medicinal treatment, lithium was touted for a wide range of medical woes—including gout and neurological and gastrointestinal ailments—and was used as a table salt substitute and even sold in bottled beverages (El-Mallakh and Jefferson 1999). After noting its sedating properties in animals, Cade (1949) first described the successful treatment of mania with lithium salts. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved lithium for use in treating acute mania in 1970 and for the prophylaxis of bipolar disorder 4 years later (Jefferson and Greist 1977). However, lithium did not come onto the market easily in the United States. Pharmaceutical companies were reluctant to produce this inexpensive drug that they could not patent (Kline 1973).

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1.
With regard to pharmacological profile, lithium
2.
Which of the following statements concerning lithium is true?
3.
On average, studies of deaths among individuals with bipolar disorder indicate that what percentage of completed suicides?
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