Thyroiditis 101: Lithium Treatment for Bipolar Disease

Thyroiditis 101: Lithium Treatment for Bipolar Disease

Thyroiditis 101: Lithium Treatment for Bipolar Disease

Physicians should be attentive to both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism when managing patients receiving lithium for bipolar disorder.

Lithium Carbonate

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The patient can present with symptoms of hyperthyroidism, including jitteriness, irregular menstruation, hair loss, diarrhea, and weight loss.The thyroid gland may be enlarged, and but thyroid antibodies are usually negative. A radioactive iodine uptake is low. Treatment may require steroids, Antithyroid drugs or even surgery.

Lithium hypothyroidism is well-known and has an incidence of 30%, while thyrotoxicosis associated with lithium use is rare.Physicians should be well aware of this rare but severe side effect.

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