Lithium level Lab Test

Lithium level
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Clinical Definition of Lithium level

Lithium test analyses the quantities of lithium found in the blood in order to ascertain whether drug concentrations are in the therapeutic range or need moderation and alterations. It is normally ordered whilst monitoring treatment of a bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorders are a mental condition that are characterized by alternating periods of depression and mania. Lithium is utilized as a mood stabilizing drug. Upon ingestion lithium interacts with various neurotransmitters and receptors, lowering the secretion of norepinephrine and increasing serotonin synthesis. Lithium quantities are assesed as blood levels must be maintained within a narrow therapeutic range. Excess of lithium leads to lithium toxicity and develops symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, confusion, tremors and with insufficient amounts the medications might not be effective.

When do you expect results?

24 to 36 Hours

Why Get Tested?

A Lithium test is normally prescribed for the assesment of lithium levels in the blood. It helps treat mania (high mood with over reactivity, racing thoughts and agitation), to help prevent the recurrence of severe mood swings post acute episode of bipolar illness, and to boost the effect of antidepressants.

Reason to take Lithium level Test

Symptoms known to be commonly observed in such scenarios are:

Depression
Racing thoughts
Agitation
Severe mood swings, mood is excessively high on some occasions and very low on others
Irritable
High energy and grandiose ideas
Poor judgment
Risky behavior
Trouble sleeping
Experience weight loss or gain
Difficulty concentrating
Thoughts of suicide
Lose interest in daily activities
Feeling of sadness and hopelessness

Preparations Needed for Lithium level Test

Preparatory instructions before the test *:

No Fasting Required.
No other special preparations required.

Sample Required?

Specimen type: Serum (Blood Sample),

Specimen collection procedure: Venipuncture (Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm)

Understanding results of Lithium level

Reference RangeInterpretation
Above 1.5Potentially Toxic
Above 2.0Severely Toxic
0.6 to 1.2Therapeutic range

‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges'

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4100432/
  2. https://labtestsonline.org/tests/lithium
  3. https://www.labtestsonline.org.au/learning/test-index/lithium
  4. https://www.aiims.edu/aiims/hosp-serv/hosp-rates/revised-rate-list.htm