Lithium, Serum
Fasting Required: No

Specimen: Blood

Lab: Quest Diagnostics

Results: 2-3 business days
Note: Result turnaround times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

Patient Preparation: Collect just prior to next dose

Description: Lithium is prescribed to even out the moods of a person with bipolar disorder; it is often called a "mood stabilizer" and is sometimes prescribed for people with depression who are not responding well to other medications. It is a relatively slow-acting drug and it may take several weeks to months for lithium to affect a person's mood. Dosages of the drug are adjusted until a steady concentration is within therapeutic range. Too little and the medication will not be effective; too much and symptoms associated with lithium toxicity may develop, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, and tremors. Extremely high levels can lead to stupor, seizures, and can be fatal.