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Test Code LITHM Lithium

Additional Codes

Epic: LAB29

Specimen Required

Specimen Type: Serum

Collection Container/Type

Preferred: Serum gold

Acceptable: Red top

Submission Container/Tube: Plastic vial

Specimen Volume: 3.5 mL

Collection Instructions: 

  1. Draw trough sample 12 hours after last dose.
  2. Centrifuge and separate cells after clot formation and within 4 hours of collection.

Additional Information: Peak concentration is reached 2 to 4 hours after oral dose.

Specimen Stability

Room temperature: 1 day

Refrigerated: 7 days

Frozen: 6 months

Reference Range

1.0 - 1.2 mEg/L

Rejection Due To

Unlabeled, mislabeled, wrong tube type, PLASMA, QNS, hemolyzed

Report Available

Same day / 1 day

Clinical Significance

Lithium is used in the treatment of manic depressive psychosis. It acts on the neurotransmitters and produces a sedative effect on the CNS. Because lithium has a narrow therapeutic range, it should be monitored closely for toxicity. Elevated levels can cause toxicity. Early symptoms of toxicity include apathy, sluggishness, drowsiness, lethargy, speech difficulties, tremor, muscle weakness, and ataxia.

Long-term lithium therapy has been reported to cause hyperparathyroidism in some individuals, with resulting hypercalcemia.

Method Name


Day(s) Performed