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Re: Lithium resistance?

Posted by SLS on June 27, 2008, at 7:00:06

In reply to Re: Lithium resistance?, posted by Looney Tunes on June 27, 2008, at 1:53:22

> This is true of alot of medications.
> But one problem with Lithium is that when you stop taking it and then go back on it, it is not as effective and there is a greater chance that it will not work. This is well documented.

The term used in the past for this phenomenon has been "Lithium-induced lithium refractoriness". There have been a few retrospective studies and anecdotal accounts of this happening. As is often the case in psychiatry, there is debate whether or not this occurs at all. I don't think this lithium refractoriness has been proven such that it would be taken into consideration by those practicing evidence-based medicine.

One tragic anecdote that I know of involves woman who was maintained effectively on lithium for eight years. Her doctor thought that this was enough time to produce a continued remission after discontinuing the lithium. Within a month of discontinuation, she relapsed, never to respond to lithium again. She has been chronically depressed for 18 years and cannot function inside or outside the house.

- Scott




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