Clinical concepts associated with lithium underutilization in the treatment of bipolar disorder.
|Autores||Strejilevich S, Urtueta-Baamonde M, Teitelbaum J, Martino D, Marengo E, Igoa A, Fassi G, Cetkovich M.|
|Journal||Strejilevich S, Urtueta-Baamonde M, Teitelbaum J, Martino D, Marengo E, Igoa A, Fassi G, Cetkovich M.|
|Abstract||OBJECTIVES: Bipolar Disorders are among the ten leading causes of morbity and lithium is considered first-line treatment and the most cost-effective. Nevertheless, its use takes a back seat to other treatment options less effective, safe and more expensive; and the reasons for this remains unclear. The present study investigates clinical concepts related to its underutilization. METHOD: An anonymous questionnaire concerning different aspects of lithium clinical use (compared efficacy, adverse effects, practical aspects regarding its use, use in special populations) was administered during the XXV Congress of the Argentinean Psychiatrist Association. RESULTS: 164 questionnaires were analyzed. Less than one-third of the sample referred lithium as their most frequent treatment option, although almost 60% qualified it as effective. Almost two-thirds considered its utilization as more complex and ill-ascribed adverse effects to it. One third referred not to use it in youth and senior populations. CONCLUSIONS: contrary to current recommendations, lithium is under utilized. This is the first report on the possible causes leading to such phenomena, which can be related to ill concepts regarding its safety, clinical use and adverse effects; although not to its effectiveness.|