Which of the following adverse effects might most likely occur during the first days of therapy(of the patient in the case below)? A 55-year-old man suffering from bipolar disorder started a therapy which included lithium, two tablets daily.
A. Constipation B. Weight loss C. Insomnia D. Hypertension E. Edema
Learning objective: describe the adverse effects of lithium.
Edema is a frequent adverse effect of Li+ especially during the 5-7 days of therapy. Edema is
likely due to increased NA+ in the ECF, since Li+ is not pumped out by NA+/K+ ATPase and
therefore it tends to accumulate inside the cells, displacing Na+.
A, B, C, D) Actually Li+ causes adverse effects opposite to those listed.