Lithium vs Anticonvulsants Lamotrigine and Valproate on 10 year physical illness

In a study by lars Kessing in (European Neeuropsychopharmcology Volume 84, July 2024, Pages 48-56) on 169,285 patients taking either lithium or the anticonvulsants Lamotrigine (LTG) or Valproate (VPA) for at least 10 years, there was no difference in physical outcome in any physical outcome, including chronic kidney disease, except for a higher incidence of myxedema.

Other diagnoses that showed no difference included stroke, arteriosclerosis, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, chronic kidney disease and cancer (including subtypes).

Editors Note: This data further supports an already robust existing literature that lithium is not more likely to cause chronic kidney disease or other physical illnesses than other anticonvulsant treatments with the exception of hypothyroidism. Patient should be made aware of these and the related long term data that lithium is no more likely to cause chronic kidney disease than other treatments and, in some cases, these other treatments cause more end-stage renal failure. The misapprehension that lithium is more toxic than other treatments has led to the vast underutilization of this treatment. Lithium is the treatment of choice for bipolar illness and should be used earlier, more often, and more persistently. When this is done illness outcomes and patient’s well being are significantly improved.


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