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What are some serious risks regarding lithium being used to treat bipolar disorder?

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There are a few serious risks to consider when using lithium to treat bipolar disorder. It may weaken bones in children. The drug has also been linked to a specific birth defect in heart valve formation occurring in 1 in 1000 to 1 in 2000 patients. It should be administered with caution to pregnant women. Also, in a very few people, long-term lithium treatment can interfere with kidney function.

SOURCES: WebMD Medical Reference: "Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Disorder)." WebMD Assess Plus: Bipolar Disorder Assessment.  National Institute for Mental Health: "Step-BD Womens Studies."   Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic & Research Program.  MedicineNet: "Bipolar Disorder (Mania)."  WebMD Medical Reference: "Effects of Untreated Depression." American Psychiatric Association: "Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder."






Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on November 7, 2017

SOURCES: WebMD Medical Reference: "Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Disorder)." WebMD Assess Plus: Bipolar Disorder Assessment.  National Institute for Mental Health: "Step-BD Womens Studies."   Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic & Research Program.  MedicineNet: "Bipolar Disorder (Mania)."  WebMD Medical Reference: "Effects of Untreated Depression." American Psychiatric Association: "Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder."






Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on November 7, 2017

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