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What is a safe lithium blood level in the treatment of mania?

John Preston, PsyD
Psychology
What matters with lithium treatment is not the dose, per se, but the blood level (which is carefully monitored). A lithium level between 0.8 and 1.2 mEq/l (mEq/l is the technical designation for what is commonly called the lithium level) is generally thought to be in the therapeutic range for treating mania. Once the manic episode is resolved, it is common practice to lower the dose to establish a blood level somewhere between 0.6 and 0.8 mEq/l. Blood levels above 1.2 are associated with significant side effects, and levels above 2.0 can be dangerous.

It is necessary to periodically check lithium blood levels. This is done frequently during the first weeks of treatment and when there are significant changes in dosage. Once a person is stabilized on lithium for several months, lithium levels will be checked less often (e.g., three to four times a year).
Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner (The New Harbinger Loving Someone Series)

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Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner (The New Harbinger Loving Someone Series)

Maintaining a relationship is hard enough without the added challenges of your partner’s bipolar disorder symptoms. Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder offers information and step-by-step advice...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.