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Lithium: In a Nutshell (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes

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      Slides 11-01 Psych Lithium.pdf
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    00:01 Let's look at lithium in a nutshell.

    00:03 It's a mood stabilizer and we use it to treat three disorders primarily bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder.

    00:12 An example of a therapeutic range for lithium is 0.6-1.2. Greater than 1.5, you're gonna start to see some more serious toxicities and greater than 2.5 can cause coma and death.

    00:26 The blood levels have to be monitored consistently.

    00:29 Early on in the treatment, they're monitored every 2-3 days then you can go to every 3-6 months.

    00:35 Now, toxicity symptoms range from mild while uncomfortable to moderate and severe which could cause death.

    00:43 Mild: GI nausea, vomiting, feeling tired, maybe a little tremor, and fatigue.

    00:48 Moderate you start to see some CNS impact with confusion, agitation, delirium, tachycardia, and hypertonia and severe can be coma, seizures, hyperthermia, drop in blood pressure of hypotension, and death.

    01:03 So these early adverse effects are what most patients will experience.

    01:07 That GI distress, they're tired and they have that little headache and confusion.

    01:12 Think of electrolyte disturbances. They're gonna have lots of polyuria and thirsty.

    01:18 So you wanna educate your patients that they increase fluids and maintain normal sodium levels.

    01:24 So that sounds like a great test question point that you wanna educate your patients to increase their fluids and maintain normal sodium levels because remember, low serum sodium for any reason will cause an increased risk of sodium and lithium and increase the risk for toxicity.

    01:43 Thank you for watching our video today.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Lithium: In a Nutshell (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes is from the course Central Nervous System (CNS) Medications (Nursing).


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Greater than 2.5 mEq/L
    2. Less than 0.6 mEq/L
    3. 0.6–2 mEq/L
    4. 1.2–2.5 mEq/L

    Author of lecture Lithium: In a Nutshell (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes

    Rhonda Lawes


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