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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Antidepressants

Question: Lithium toxicity

 persevierant1 - Wed Nov 16, 2005 9:22 am

My sister was on lithium for over a year without EVER being tested for her lithium levels. She ended up in the hospital with high lithium levels following a blackout she'd had. The physicians proclaimed it as a "suicide attempt due to lithium overdose". I was with her the day she was admitted and also had her medications in my possession. I tried to reason with the doctors that her prescription bottle had the correct amount of pills in the container and that nothing was wrong with her prior to the blackout spell, but they still diagnosed her with a suicide attempt. This resulted in her losing custody of her children in her divorce and since is unable to get them back. My sister is a terrific mother. How can she/we prove that the hospital was wrong about the lithium levels being self induced? How can you prove Lithium toxicity is not a suicide attempt?
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Wed Dec 07, 2005 8:02 am

User avatar Dear persevierant1,
I think you need to discuss this with a lawyer. If no levels at all were requested then you could address this issue with your lawyer.
Currently, the American Psychiatric Association has the following to say about lithium monitoring.

"The clinical status of patients receiving lithium needs to be monitored especially closely. The frequency of monitoring depends on the individual patient's clinical situation but generally should be no less than every 6 months for stable patients. The optimal frequency of serum level monitoring in an individual patient depends on the stability of lithium levels over time for that patient and the degree to which the patient can be relied upon to notice and report symptoms."

You can find this is stated on their website.

Best regards,

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