Lithium in the Treatment of Mood Disorders
Although over 40 years have elapsed since its effects on mania were first described,1 lithium is still a mainstay in the treatment of mood disorders. Indeed, it remains the standard against which new mood-stabilizing, or thymoleptic, drugs are measured. This longevity is all the more remarkable given lithium's narrow therapeutic index and the lack of clarity about its mechanism of action. This review summarizes the history, pharmacology, efficacy, clinical use, and toxicity of lithium, with a brief discussion of other thymoleptic drugs proposed as alternatives or adjuncts to lithium. History Lithium, which has an atomic number of 3, is the . . .