What is it about?

Lithium carbonate is a gold standard medication for the treatment of bipolar affective disorder. However, it is known that it can alter the function of the thyroid gland in some patients, with hypothyroidism being more common. This is a case report on a patient who developed symptoms of hyperthyroidism when using lithium carbonate to treat bipolar affective disorder.

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Why is it important?

Thyrotoxicosis in patients taking lithium carbonate is much less common than hypothyroidism. Although it is a rare effect, it is important that physicians be aware of this possibility when using this medication to treat bipolar disorder in any patient.


This case report was written during my residency, with my colleagues, and we had the pleasure of being guided by two great professionals, one of them being a reference on this topic. We learned a lot following this case in practice, in a case with a serious underlying disease, complicated by a rare effect of this psychotropic drug.

M.D. Pablo E. P. Dutra
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Hyperthyroid Rage, Clinical Neuropharmacology, January 2015, Wolters Kluwer Health,
DOI: 10.1097/wnf.0000000000000059.
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