Putative mechanisms of action and clinical use of lithium in children and adolescents: a critical review

Simone Pisano, Marco Pozzi, Gennaro Catone, Giulia Scrinzi, Emilio Clementi, Giangennaro Coppola, Annarita Milone, Carmela Bravaccio, Paramala J. Santosh, Gabriele Masi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Lithium is a first-line treatment for bipolar disorder in adults, but its mechanism of action is still far from clear. Furthermore, evidences of its use in pediatric populations are sparse, not only for bipolar disorders, but also for other possible indications.
OBJECTIVES:
To provide a synthesis of published data on the possible mechanisms of action of lithium, as well as on its use in pediatric samples, including pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and safety data.
METHODS:
Clinical trials in pediatric samples with at least one standardized measure of efficacy/effectiveness were included in this review. We considered: i) randomized and open label trials, ii) combination studies iii) augmentation studies iv) case series including at least 5 patients.
RESULTS:
Different and non-alternative mechanisms of action can explain the clinical efficacy of lithium. Clinical studies in pediatric samples suggest that lithium is effective in managing manic symptoms/episodes of bipolar disorder, both in the acute phase and as maintenance strategy. Efficacy on depressive symptoms/phases of bipolar disorder is much less clear, while studies do not support its use in unipolar depression and severe mood dysregulation. Conversely, it may be effective on aggression in the context of conduct disorder. Other possible indications, with limited published evidence, are the acute attacks in Kleine-Levin syndrome, behavioral symptoms of X-fragile syndrome, and the management of clozapine- or chemotherapy- induced neutropenia. Generally, lithium resulted relatively safe.
CONCLUSIONS:
Lithium seems an effective and well-tolerated medication on pediatric bipolar disorder and aggression, while further evidences are needed for other clinical indications.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalCurrent Neuropharmacology
Volume16
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2018

Fingerprint

Lithium
Bipolar Disorder
Pediatrics
Aggression
Kleine-Levin Syndrome
Fragile X Syndrome
Conduct Disorder
Behavioral Symptoms
Clozapine
Depressive Disorder
Neutropenia
Pharmacokinetics
Maintenance
Clinical Trials
Depression
Safety
Drug Therapy
Population

Keywords

  • children
  • adolescents
  • lithium
  • efficacy
  • safety
  • pharmacokinetics
  • mechanism of action

Cite this

Putative mechanisms of action and clinical use of lithium in children and adolescents: a critical review. / Pisano, Simone; Pozzi, Marco; Catone, Gennaro; Scrinzi, Giulia; Clementi, Emilio; Coppola, Giangennaro; Milone, Annarita; Bravaccio, Carmela; Santosh, Paramala J.; Masi, Gabriele.

In: Current Neuropharmacology, Vol. 16, 2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pisano, S, Pozzi, M, Catone, G, Scrinzi, G, Clementi, E, Coppola, G, Milone, A, Bravaccio, C, Santosh, PJ & Masi, G 2018, 'Putative mechanisms of action and clinical use of lithium in children and adolescents: a critical review', Current Neuropharmacology, vol. 16.
Pisano, Simone ; Pozzi, Marco ; Catone, Gennaro ; Scrinzi, Giulia ; Clementi, Emilio ; Coppola, Giangennaro ; Milone, Annarita ; Bravaccio, Carmela ; Santosh, Paramala J. ; Masi, Gabriele. / Putative mechanisms of action and clinical use of lithium in children and adolescents: a critical review. In: Current Neuropharmacology. 2018 ; Vol. 16.
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AU - Pisano, Simone

AU - Pozzi, Marco

AU - Catone, Gennaro

AU - Scrinzi, Giulia

AU - Clementi, Emilio

AU - Coppola, Giangennaro

AU - Milone, Annarita

AU - Bravaccio, Carmela

AU - Santosh, Paramala J.

AU - Masi, Gabriele

PY - 2018

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N2 - BACKGROUND:Lithium is a first-line treatment for bipolar disorder in adults, but its mechanism of action is still far from clear. Furthermore, evidences of its use in pediatric populations are sparse, not only for bipolar disorders, but also for other possible indications.OBJECTIVES:To provide a synthesis of published data on the possible mechanisms of action of lithium, as well as on its use in pediatric samples, including pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and safety data.METHODS:Clinical trials in pediatric samples with at least one standardized measure of efficacy/effectiveness were included in this review. We considered: i) randomized and open label trials, ii) combination studies iii) augmentation studies iv) case series including at least 5 patients.RESULTS:Different and non-alternative mechanisms of action can explain the clinical efficacy of lithium. Clinical studies in pediatric samples suggest that lithium is effective in managing manic symptoms/episodes of bipolar disorder, both in the acute phase and as maintenance strategy. Efficacy on depressive symptoms/phases of bipolar disorder is much less clear, while studies do not support its use in unipolar depression and severe mood dysregulation. Conversely, it may be effective on aggression in the context of conduct disorder. Other possible indications, with limited published evidence, are the acute attacks in Kleine-Levin syndrome, behavioral symptoms of X-fragile syndrome, and the management of clozapine- or chemotherapy- induced neutropenia. Generally, lithium resulted relatively safe.CONCLUSIONS:Lithium seems an effective and well-tolerated medication on pediatric bipolar disorder and aggression, while further evidences are needed for other clinical indications.

AB - BACKGROUND:Lithium is a first-line treatment for bipolar disorder in adults, but its mechanism of action is still far from clear. Furthermore, evidences of its use in pediatric populations are sparse, not only for bipolar disorders, but also for other possible indications.OBJECTIVES:To provide a synthesis of published data on the possible mechanisms of action of lithium, as well as on its use in pediatric samples, including pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and safety data.METHODS:Clinical trials in pediatric samples with at least one standardized measure of efficacy/effectiveness were included in this review. We considered: i) randomized and open label trials, ii) combination studies iii) augmentation studies iv) case series including at least 5 patients.RESULTS:Different and non-alternative mechanisms of action can explain the clinical efficacy of lithium. Clinical studies in pediatric samples suggest that lithium is effective in managing manic symptoms/episodes of bipolar disorder, both in the acute phase and as maintenance strategy. Efficacy on depressive symptoms/phases of bipolar disorder is much less clear, while studies do not support its use in unipolar depression and severe mood dysregulation. Conversely, it may be effective on aggression in the context of conduct disorder. Other possible indications, with limited published evidence, are the acute attacks in Kleine-Levin syndrome, behavioral symptoms of X-fragile syndrome, and the management of clozapine- or chemotherapy- induced neutropenia. Generally, lithium resulted relatively safe.CONCLUSIONS:Lithium seems an effective and well-tolerated medication on pediatric bipolar disorder and aggression, while further evidences are needed for other clinical indications.

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