Test Detail
Overview
Interpreting Results
FAQ's

Content created by

Written by
Dr. Betina Chandolia
BDS, MDS - Oral Pathology and Microbiology
Reviewed by
Dr. Ashish Ranjan
MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)
Want to know more?
Read our Editorial Policy

Lithium

(Li)
ADD TO CART
Lithium
You need to provide
Blood
This test is for
Male, Female
Test Preparation
  1. No special preparation required

Overview


What is Li?

Lithium (Li+) is an element which is used as an antipsychotic drug. It treats bipolar disorder and mania, as well as some other psychological diseases like depression as an augmenting agent. The Lithium Test is performed to measure the concentration of lithium in blood.


Why is Li done?

·         To establish a therapeutic dosage for lithium

·         To monitor blood concentration at regular intervals to help maintain the therapeutic concentration

·         To check for lithium toxicity upon the appearance of symptoms

What does Li Measure?

Lithium is an alkali metal which occurs in trace amounts in the human body mainly obtained from dietary sources. Lithium compounds are used as antipsychotic drugs for the treatment of Bipolar disorder. Bipolar disease is a psychological condition where the patient goes through alternating periods of severe depression and mania. It is thus associated with sudden and unpredictable mood swings. Lithium is prescribed as a mood stabilizer to treat these sudden mood swings. It is also used as an augmenting agent for patients being treated for depression but not responding to standard medications. Lithium may also be prescribed for other psychological diseases as an augmenting agent.

Lithium is a drug which acts relatively slowly and may take several weeks to be effective in treatment. Hence, its concentration in blood needs to be maintained within a steady therapeutic range for it to be effective as a drug. Lower than the therapeutic range concentrations make it ineffective as a medicine, while higher than the therapeutic range concentration causes lithium toxicity. The blood level of lithium is thus monitored at regular intervals to help maintain it within the effective therapeutic range.



Interpreting Li results


Interpretations

Therapeutic range: 0.6 to 1.2 mmol/L

The standard therapeutic range of lithium concentration may vary from person to person and is usually established at the beginning of the treatment.

Lower than the therapeutic range lithium concentration makes the drug ineffective in treatment.

Higher than the therapeutic range lithium concentration induces symptoms associated with lithium toxicity.



Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Li


Frequently Asked Questions about Lithium

Q. How is this test performed?
This test is performed on a blood sample. A syringe with a fine needle is used to withdraw blood from a blood vessel in your arm. The healthcare provider will tie an elastic band around your arm to make the blood vessels swell with blood. This makes it easier to withdraw blood. You may be asked to tightly clench your fist. Once the veins are clearly visible, the area is cleaned with an antiseptic solution and then the needle is inserted into the blood vessel to collect the sample. You will feel a tiny pinprick during the procedure. Blood sample once collected will then be sent to the laboratory.
Q. Is there any risk associated with this test?
There is no risk associated with the test. However, since this test involves a needle prick to withdraw the blood sample, in very rare cases, a patient may experience increased bleeding, hematoma formation (blood collection under the skin), bruising or infection at the site of needle prick.
Q. What are the symptoms of lithium toxicity?
Lithium toxicity may occur if the lithium concentration in your blood is higher than the therapeutic range. Symptoms of lithium toxicity include: · Fatigue and drowsiness · Gastrointestinal problems including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea · Slurring of speech · Confusion · Dizziness · Loss of coordination · Muscle weakness · Restlessness · Shivering · Seizures Very high concentration of lithium in blood may cause renal failure and even death.
Q. When can false results appear in the Lithium Test?
False results may appear in the lithium test if the test is not performed at the trough level. Trough level is the point when the concentration of lithium in blood is the lowest. Certain medications may affect the levels of lithium in blood. Loss of salt and water from the body due to excessive sweating, vomiting, etc. may affect lithium levels. Consumption of alcohol can also affect lithium concentration in blood.
Q. What other tests can be prescribed by your doctor in case the result of Lithium test is not normal?
Other tests that may be prescribed upon appearance of an abnormal result in the blood lithium test include: · Electrolyte Panel Tests · Kidney Function Tests · TSH Test
Q. What are the risks associated with lithium medication in pregnant women?
Use of lithium drugs during pregnancy can show some serious adverse effects on both the baby and the mother, including: · Risk of improper development of the heart · Risk of a stillborn child or death of the child soon after birth · Risk of lithium toxicity in the mother due to hormonal changes. Lithium may also be passed on to the baby during breastfeeding and may have negative effects on the baby.
Q. Is there any preparation required before the Lithium test?
Inform the doctor about any medications you may be taking as certain medications may affect the test results. The test is usually performed after about 12 hours from the last dose taken, at which point the concentration in blood is lowest and is said to be at trough level. No other preparations are required unless specified by your doctor.
+ more

NABL

ISO

Thyrocare Technologies Limited is India's first and most advanced Totally Automated Laboratory having its strong presence in more than 2000 cities / towns in India and internationally. Thyrocare is India's first fully automated diagnostic laboratory with a focus on providing quality at affordable costs to laboratories and hospitals in India and other countries. Thyrocare operates with a Centralized Processing Laboratory (CPL) in Mumbai - India for esoteric tests; and Regional Processing...
Know More
User Reviews

G
Guest
G
N
Nikhilesh
Overall happy with services
+more

Available at Other Labs



INDIA’S LARGEST HEALTHCARE PLATFORM

150M+
Visitors
25M+
Orders Delivered
1000+
Cities
Get the link to download App
Reliable

All products displayed on 1mg are procured from verified and licensed pharmacies. All labs listed on the platform are accredited

Secure

1mg uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) 128-bit encryption and is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant

Affordable

Enjoy 20% off on allopathy medicines, up to 50% off on health products, up to 80% off on lab tests and free doctor consultations

India's only LegitScript and ISO/IEC 27001 certified online healthcare platform
Know More About 1mg
Access medical and health information

1mg provides you with medical information which is curated, written and verified by experts, accurate and trustworthy. Our experts create high-quality content about medicines, diseases, lab investigations, Over-The-Counter (OTC) health products, Ayurvedic herbs/ingredients, and alternative remedies.

Order medicines online

Get free medicine home delivery in over 1000 cities across India. You can also order Ayurvedic, Homeopathic and other Over-The-Counter (OTC) health products. Your safety is our top priority. All products displayed on 1mg are procured from verified and licensed pharmacies.

Book lab tests

Book any lab tests and preventive health packages from certified labs and get tested from the comfort of your home. Enjoy free home sample collection, view reports online and consult a doctor online for free.

Consult a doctor online

Got a health query? Consult doctors online from the comfort of your home for free. Chat privately with our registered medical specialists to connect directly with verified doctors. Your privacy is guaranteed.