Fasting Required: No Specimen: Blood Resilts: 2-3 Business Days Description: Lithium is prescribed to even out the moods of a person with bipolar disorder; it is often called a "mood stabilizer" and is sometimes prescribed for people with depression who are not responding well to other medications. It is a relatively slow-acting drug and it may take several weeks to months for lithium to affect a person's mood. Dosages of the drug are adjusted until a steady concentration is within therapeutic range. Too little and the medication will not be effective; too much and symptoms associated with lithium toxicity may develop, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, and tremors. Extremely high levels can lead to stupor, seizures, and can be fatal. Methodology Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) • Immunoassay • Spectrometry • Spectrophotometry Reference Range(s) 0.6-1.2 mmol/L Clinical Significance Lithium is used to treat manic-depressive disorders and the manic phase of affective disorders, including mania. The therapeutic window is relatively small. Therapeutic drug monitoring is useful to optimize dose and avoid toxicity.