Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 451-456

Perspectives, attitude, and practice of lithium prescription among psychiatrists in India

1 Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Malda Medical College, Malda, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Spoorthy Sai Mamidipalli
Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur - 490 229, Chhattisgarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_451_18

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Introduction: Lithium “the magic pill” past its discovery remained the respite for patients with bipolar disorders for decades. The prescriptions of lithium were replaced by other drugs because of the cumbersome monitoring, adverse effect profile, narrow therapeutic index, and frequent comorbidities in patients. The objectives of this study were to understand the knowledge, attitude, and practice of lithium by a subset of psychiatrists in India, which will help us understand the theory–practice gap and for devising strategies to bridge the existing gap. Materials and Methods: The current study was an online survey which included 103 psychiatrists from India of either gender and any age group. Predesigned questionnaire about the knowledge, attitude, and practice of lithium use was circulated for 1 month (March 2018). We received 135 responses (31% response rate), of which 32 were incomplete. Hence, the total sample of psychiatrists included in the study was 103. Results: The results suggest that most practitioners included in the survey had knowledge about the effects, adverse effects, and the monitoring protocols and were comfortable in using lithium in patients on outpatient basis. Despite being aware of the indications, the psychiatrists were skeptical in starting lithium due to multitude of perceived barriers such as comorbidities, patient's low adherence to blood monitoring, and adverse effects. Conclusions: Clinicians should be well aware of the adverse effects, monitoring protocols, which will help them to use lithium in a more appropriate manner.



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