Lithium Beats Newer Meds for Bipolar Disorder, Study Finds

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Lithium outperforms newer mood stabilizers in a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, a new investigate has found.

Patients holding lithium had reduce rates of self-harm and unintended damage compared to those holding other bipolar drugs, such as valproate (Depacon, Depakote), olanzapine (Zyprexa) or quetiapine (Seroquel), pronounced lead researcher Joseph Hayes. He is a associate of psychoanalysis during University College London.

“This is critical since people with bipolar commotion are 15 times some-more expected to die by self-murder and 6 times some-more expected to die by random damage than a ubiquitous population,” Hayes explained.

People holding one of a choice mood stabilizers were 40 percent some-more expected to mistreat themselves compared to patients on lithium, Hayes and his colleagues found.

And people on valproate or quetiapine were 32 percent to 34 percent some-more expected to tumble plant to unintended injury, many expected while experiencing a manic episode, a researchers said.

“Lithium still is a bullion customary for a diagnosis of bipolar. We unequivocally haven’t had a remedy that surpasses lithium, as distant as we know,” pronounced Dr. Raphael Braga. He is physician-in-charge of a Center for Treatment and Research of Bipolar Disorder during Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., and was not concerned with a study.

Hayes remarkable that lithium has been used for some-more than half a century to provide bipolar disorder, though it’s still not transparent how a drug stabilizes a person’s mood.

Bipolar disorder, that used to be called manic depression, is characterized by impassioned mood swings trimming from romantic highs to depressive lows.

The researchers undertook their investigate following justification reviews and studies that suggested lithium competence be improved than newer drugs during preventing self-murder and self-harm.

These studies have contended that lithium achieves these formula by shortening symptoms such as depression, aggression, risk-taking and guileless behavior, according to credentials records in a study.

Lithium can be tough on a body, a investigate authors said, augmenting a person’s risk of kidney and thyroid disease, though even that might have a certain side in bipolar patients. Because patients contingency be closely monitored for side effects, they are in some-more revisit hit with doctors who can collect adult on romantic problems that lead to suicide, a researchers contend.

To review lithium opposite newer medications, Hayes and his colleagues collected medical information on scarcely 6,700 people diagnosed as bipolar and prescribed usually one of a drugs — lithium, valproate, olanzapine or quetiapine.

The investigators found that people on lithium were reduction expected to mistreat themselves, possibly intentionally or by accident.

The self-murder rate was reduce in a lithium group, though too few suicides occurred to concede accurate risk estimates, a investigate authors said.

The commentary were published online May 11 in a biography JAMA Psychiatry.

Lithium can means kidney illness and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland), Braga and Hayes said.

Doctors need to delicately import advantages contra mistreat when prescribing lithium to people with kidney or thyroid problems, and “if these are severe, it should be avoided,” Hayes said. “Lithium [also] needs to be reviewed on an particular studious basement before pregnancy.”

Braga pronounced psychiatrists mostly need patients holding lithium to bear lab tests each 3 to 6 months, to make certain their kidney duty hasn’t been compromised.

Even with this, lithium is most cheaper than a other drugs in a study, Braga said. Hayes remarkable a 2008 investigate that found lithium was scarcely $500 cheaper per month compared with olanzapine.

“Lithium is a good drug,” Braga said. “It’s really a drug each clinician should consider about when prescribing for bipolar disorder.”

More information

For some-more on lithium, revisit a National Alliance on Mental Illness.