Lithium (taken as a mood stabilizer) can lead to renal problems in patients, especially those taking it long-term.

How prevalent are these side effects and how are they managed - for example, stopping to take lithium, taking other medication alongside lithium?

1 Answer 1


The Impact Of Long-Term Lithium Treatment On Renal Function In An Outpatient Population

Lithium is known to affect renal concentrating ability, and lithium-induced polyuria is not uncommon, estimated to affect approximately 20% of patients, but this is rarely clinically significant. It is less clear, however, whether or not the protracted use of lithium can cause progressive deterioration in renal function, culminating in renal failure

How can I avoid kidney damage due to lithium?

  1. Avoid levels of lithium that are toxic

  2. Check blood levels of lithium to see if you are taking the lowest amount that still works for you

  3. Check creatinine every year. Get medical help if your creatinine level stays above 1.6 mg/dl.

  4. If possible, take lithium once a day.

Some of these are interventions that your health care provider would utilize. So make sure you follow up with your healthcare provider.

Lithium Nephropathy

Evidence of chronic renal disease is an indication for discontinuation of the drug being administered and for consideration of alternative medications for treatment of the patient's psychiatric disorder.


Polyuria --> Thiazide Diuretics & NSAIDs

Hypovolemia --> Parenteral Fluids

Dialysis may be indicated

The ICU may be indicated

  • @YviDe Those links work for me. Do they still produce errors for you?
    – Carey Gregory
    Mar 24, 2016 at 19:43

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