Lithium test is a type of blood test that is used for the assessment of lithium levels in the blood. The test can help the doctors in determining the lithium toxicity in the body, and also determine the therapeutic levels when the lithium medication is subjected to the body.
Procedure of the Test
The test is a simple blood test that is done by drawing blood from the body and sending the sample to the laboratory for further testing. The lab technician will first tie an elastic band onto the arm to find the vein from where the blood is to be drawn for testing. A needle is then inserted into the arm and blood is drawn from the veins. Once the blood sample is drawn and collected, the lab technician will then put a cotton swab over the punctured wound to stop the bleeding. The blood sample collected is then sent to the laboratory for testing, and the result of the same is shared and discussed by the doctor.
Why get tested?
Lithium is test mainly offered when an individual is starting lithium treatment. The test may also be ordered if a person is not responding to the lithium treatment; to determine if the concentration is low, or if the medicine is ineffective. Apart from that, the test might also be ordered when an individual is experiencing side effects due to toxicity, such as:
Shaking or tremors
Lack of coordination
Nausea, or vomiting/diarrhea
This test includes
The test does not require any special preparations before the test. The test does not require fasting. However, the test result might be affected depending upon the timing of the sample collection. Usually, the sample is collected 12 hours after the last dose. It is imperative for individuals to let the lab technician know the timing of the last dose so that the results can be interpreted accordingly and correctly.
Frequently asked questions
Q.Can I test my lithium level at home?
The lithium levels cannot be tested at home as it requires special equipment for the sample to be collected. The sample can only collected from the vein of the individual and only in the laboratory by either a doctor or lab technician.
Q.What happens if lithium dose is missed or stopped abruptly?
Lithium is used for stabilizing bipolar disorders in people. If the medicine is stopped abruptly or the dosages are missed, one might experience a rebound or worsening of the symptoms.