A mentally retarded six-year-old child became severely intoxicated with lithium carbonate whilst on maintenance lithio-therapy for control of aggressive behaviour in an institutional setting. His lithium level of 5.15 mmol/l returned to normal after two weeks. Treatment consisted of an initial saline infusion but was otherwise supportive. Although lithium toxicity is rare in children this may be because it has been used infrequently and cautiously. We feel his young age and situation accounted for some of the severity of his intoxication, and wish to stress the potential toxicity of lithium when used under these circumstances.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Dostal J (1971) Antiagressive effect of lithium salts in mentally retarded adolescents. In: Proceedings of 4th U.E.P. Congress. Almqvist and Wiksell. Stockholm, p 491–498
Hansen HE, Amdisen A (1978) Lithium intoxication (Report of 23 cases and review of 100 cases from the literature). Q J Med 47:123–144
Jefferson JW, Griest JH (1977) Primer of lithium therapy. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore
Lena B (1979) Lithium in child and adolescent psychiatry. Arch Gen Psychiat 36:854–855
Lena B (1979) Manic states in affective disorders of childhood and adolescence. Br Med J I:685
Mann J, Bruton LJ, Larkins RG (1978) Hyperosmolality complicating recovery from lithium toxicity. Br Med J I: 1522–1523
Reisberg G, Gershon S (1979) Side effects associated with lithium therapy. Arch Gen Psychiat 36:879–887
Steinherz PG, Rosen G, Ghavimi F, et al. (1980) The effect of lithium carbonate on leukaemia after chemotherapy. J Pediatr 96:923–927
About this article
Cite this article
FitzSimons, R.B., Keane, S. Severe lithium intoxication in a child. Eur J Pediatr 137, 353–354 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00443272
- mental retardation