Lithobid slow-release tablets in a 300mg dosage have been approved for the treatment of manic depression. Lithobid provides twice-daily dosing as opposed to several times a day for immediate-release preparations; Lithobid's slow-release formulation helps to minimize variations in lithium concentrations as compared with immediate-release preparations.
A recent study showed that within three weeks of vigorous lithium treatment, 49% of the subjects had a moderate or better response.
The lifetime risk of manic depression is 1.2%, with an annual incidence of 9-15 new cases per 100,000 per year for men, and seven to 30 new cases per 100,000 per year for women. Studies have shown that an estimated 20 % of all cases of major mood disorders result from manic depression.
Manic episodes are distinct periods in which one's mood changes from its normal state to an abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood. The associated symptoms include inflated self-esteem or grandiosity, feeling of elation, euphoria, decreased need for sleep, pressure of speech, flight of ideas, distractibility, aggressiveness, and possible hostility.
Lithium has been used to treat manic depression for more than 20 years and is most likely to be effective in subjects with pure manic symptomatology (elation and grandiosity). Response rates in these subjects may be as high as 90%.