Lithium poisoning: neurological signs, nephrological therapy

Abstract

Lithium is an effective drug in the treatment of bipolar disorder and other psychiatric and neurological diseases. Unfortunately, its therapeutic index is narrow.

There are three types of lithium poisoning: acute poisoning (in untreated patients), acute on chronic poisoning, when an overdose is taken accidentally or with suicidal intent, in patients under treatment and chronic poisoning (patient treated with lithium) when drug intake is correct but excessive in relation to its elimination (increased dose or more often reduced clearance) resulting in lithium overload.

In this last condition, the clinical presentation is primary neurological while therapy involves the nephrologist provided that lithium clearance is mainly renal and hemodialysis is the most effective method for removal.

Key words: hemodialysis, lithium, poisoning

Full text of the article is available in Italian.