Bipolar Disorder, Lithium, and Ketamine: What You Need to Know

Bipolar Disorder, Lithium, and Ketamine | Los Angeles Infusion TherapyKetamine Therapy is one of the most vital breakthroughs in treating depressive conditions such as bipolar disorder.

Ketamine has been safely used as an anesthetic for more than 50 years, and over the last one decade it has been increasingly used to treat a wide range of mental health and physical pain conditions. Another medication that has been around for a long time is lithium.

Patients who are using lithium may additionally benefit if they receive Ketamine Infusion Therapy. The combined effect of both treatments may be more beneficial for patients suffering from bipolar disorder. Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles, led by Dr. Steven Mandel, provides ketamine infusion treatments to patients in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, California, and surrounding locations.


Lithium for Bipolar Disorder

Researchers have known for several decades that lithium can have a calming effect on people suffering from severe mood changes. In 1970, the FDA approved lithium for the acute treatment of bipolar disorder and subsequently for maintenance treatments. Lithium is known to have certain antidepressant properties, and is therefore recommended by many psychiatrists for patients who suffer from major depressive disorders.

The antidepressant medications usually work more effectively when combined with lithium treatment. Lithium is also considered vital because it is only one of two oral medications available today that have anti-suicidal properties. The third medication is Ketamine Therapy which must be administered intravenously.

Caution must be exercised while taking lithium medication and the provider must carefully monitor the patient’s blood levels. Lithium has a narrow therapeutic window of effectiveness, and may create toxicity with serious adverse outcomes if it is not administered in precise dosage. Thyroid and kidney functions must also be monitored because it can affect these organs.


Combining Lithium and Ketamine

Lithium may be combined with Ketamine Infusion Therapy to create improved results for patients suffering from bipolar disorder. A patient who is already using lithium may continue the treatment as before, and may add Ketamine Therapy. This will not impact the overall drug levels in the bloodstream. Some researchers believe that the combination may increase to the effectiveness of response to ketamine.

A research study by Chiu, CT et al in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology showed that pre-treatment with lithium may help to increase the potential antidepressant effects of Ketamine Infusion Therapy. However, this study was not conducted on humans and other research studies are still ongoing. The potential benefits of a combination of ketamine and lithium are a continuing subject of research.  



If a bipolar disorder patient feel reasonably stable with lithium treatment but still suffers from depressive episodes, they may consider Ketamine Therapy as a valid option to address the depressive episodes. Ketamine produces a quick onset of action and reduces the risk of side effects at sub-anesthetic doses compared to other psychiatric treatment options.

Ketamine can dramatically improve the symptoms of bipolar depression and is a low risk option with a potential for superior benefits. The judicious and terrific Dr. Mandel receives patients from Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, California, and other cities and town in SoCal for ketamine infusion treatments.

For more information about treatments for depression, bipolar, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), fibromyalgia, pain syndromes and other conditions contact us at the Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles in Southern California (Orange County) by clicking here or calling  310-270-0625 

Treating patients from LA, Beverly Hills, Orange County, San Diego, Palm Springs, San Francisco, Sacramento,CA,  Las Vegas, NV and many other cities from west to east coast.

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