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Monitoring patients on lithium – a good practice guideline

  • Joy Nicholson (a1) and Brian Fitzmaurice (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

To develop a guideline that would encourage a systematic approach for both psychiatrists and general practitioners in the provision of safe, effective and consistent management of patients who are prescribed lithium. A multi-disciplinary working group developed the guideline following literature review and consultation with lithium clinics and specialist centres nationally.

Results

The Lothian lithium guidelines include three sections: (a) a lithium treatment plan; (b) advice for clinicians on managing lithium levels; and (c) pointers for counselling patients on lithium. The treatment plan is a key document in the guidelines which, once completed, ensures continuity of care with the transfer of patient-specific information.

Clinical Implications

This development has provided the opportunity for primary and secondary care services to work together in producing a guideline that will improve patient care and minimises risk.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
For correspondence: The Clinical Guidelines Team, Lothian Primary Care NHS Trust, Stevenson House, 555 Gorgie Road, Edinburgh EH11 3LG
References
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Cockcroft, D. W. & Gault, M. H. (1976) Prediction of creatinine clearance from serum creatinine. Nephron, 16, 3141.
Guideline Working Party (2001) Guidelines for the Management of Patients on Lithium. NHS Lothian.
Kehoe, R. F. (1992) Improving Clinical Practice: Lithium Monitoring. Occasional Paper No. 21. Edinburgh: Clinical Resource and Audit Group, Scottish Office.
Ryman, A. (1997) Lithium monitoring in hospital and general practice. Psychiatric Bulletin, 21, 570572.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Monitoring patients on lithium – a good practice guideline

  • Joy Nicholson (a1) and Brian Fitzmaurice (a2)
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