Reformulating lithium to reduce toxicity

Rainer Klute [GNU FDL] via Wikimedia Commons

Lithium has been used treat neuropsychiatric illnesses for many years. Formulated as lithium carbonate, it is effective in treating mania in bipolar disorder and in reducing suicides in depressive phases of the disease. But use of lithium carbonate is associated with toxic effects such as hand tremors, diarrhea, vomiting, weight gain and decreased thyroid function. New drugs that are as effective as lithium carbonate but less toxic are sought by researchers, including Douglas Shytle and colleagues at the University of South Florida (Tampa). Work from Shytle’s lab now suggests they may have found it in an alternative formulation of lithium: lithium salicylate.

Lab Anim. (NY) 43, 152 (2014).
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