Harvard Mental Health Letter

Lithium-induced kidney problems

Serious problems are unusual, but monitoring is key.

Lithium is one of the most effective treatments for bipolar disorder, not only helping to prevent relapse, but also reducing risk of suicide in these patients. But clinicians and patients may be concerned about risks of long-term lithium use, including damage to the kidneys.

In the past few years, however, researchers have better defined what kidney problems might occur and how to guard against them.

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