Lithium – a Loneliness of an Efficacious Unpatented Drug

Lior Stern, Rachel Shvartsur, Abed Azab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lithium is the gold standard drug for maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder. It reduces the recurrence of manic and depressive episodes and decreases the risk of suicide. However, due to its narrow therapeutic index and the fact that its long-term use is associated with several side effects, many clinicians avoid prescribing lithium even to patients who may greatly benefit from its unique therapeutic advantages. In many occasions lithium is sidestepped for fear of side effects, particularly chronic kidney disease. The fact that lithium is an unpatented drug lacking the promotional support of a drug company adds to its relatively lessened glamour.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1066
JournalAustin Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 28 Jun 2018


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