October 28, 1968

A Practicum for the Use of Lithium Salts in Affective Psychoses

Author Affiliations

From the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore. Dr. Levy is now with the Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

JAMA. 1968;206(5):1045-1047. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150050033006

More than 19 years of clinical experience have shown that lithium salts are effective therapy for acute manic attacks and more recent evidence suggests that it can prevent recurrent psychotic depressive or manic episodes. Unwarranted emphasis has been placed on its toxicity, since several fatalities occurred during the unsupervised use of the drug as a substitute for table salt. Knowledge of lithium's pharmacology and close attention to dosage and blood level allow this agent to be used safely. This report provides comprehensive information on its use.