Lithium comeback: The use of the ‘penicillin of psychiatry’ to treat bipolar disorder is resurging

| | July 15, 2020
images
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

A quick literature search for lithium therapy reveals a multitude of recent articles on its superior efficacy in the treatment of mood disorder—and its underutilization in favor of other, newer agents ….

Now, a new paper published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry concludes that “in practice, lithium should be prescribed to all [emphasis added] patients with bipolar disorder, unless there is a specific reason why an alternative is preferable or is better suited” (Malhi et al., 2020).

A frequent concern raised about lithium therapy is the risk of side effects, including lithium toxicity, which occurs when lithium is dosed too high or is taken in overdose. However, … lithium’s side effects are often overestimated by prescribers, and the drug’s long-term safety at appropriate doses has been well-established. Years of anti-lithium advertising by the pharmaceutical companies has contributed to these negative perceptions surrounding lithium treatment.

Related article:  Acne’s Wonder Drug Is a Mental-Health Puzzle

Fortunately, there now appears to be broad consensus in academic psychiatry that lithium, long-recognized as the single most effective mood-stabilizing agent, is underused—and that this represents a major problem in bipolar disorder treatment. Psychiatry’s “orphan drug,” long unsupported by any major pharmaceutical company, may be making a comeback.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
a a b b a f ac a

Video: Death by COVID: The projected grim toll in historical context

The latest statistics, as of July 10, show COVID-19-related deaths in U.S. are just under 1,000 per day nationally, which is ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
types of oak trees

Infographic: Power of evolution? How oak trees came to dominate North American forests

Over the course of some 56 million years, oaks, which all belong to the genus Quercus, evolved from a single undifferentiated ...
biotechnology worker x

Can GMOs rescue threatened plants and crops?

Some scientists and ecologists argue that humans are in the midst of an "extinction crisis" — the sixth wave of ...
food globe x

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world?

Experts estimate that agricultural production needs to roughly double in the coming decades. How can that be achieved? ...
eating gmo corn on the cob x

Are GMOs safe?

In 2015, 15 scientists and activists issued a statement, "No Scientific consensus on GMO safety," in the journal Environmental Sciences ...
Screen Shot at PM

Charles Benbrook: Agricultural economist and consultant for the organic industry and anti-biotechnology advocacy groups

Independent scientists rip Benbrook's co-authored commentary in New England Journal calling for reassessment of dangers of all GMO crops and herbicides ...
Screen Shot at PM

ETC Group: ‘Extreme’ biotechnology critic campaigns against synthetic biology and other forms of ‘extreme genetic engineering’

The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and ...
Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend