US Brand Names: Serenity, Life Link, NCI Advanced Research, Atrium Nutrition, maybe others
Other Brand Names: I’m sure there are more
Generic Name: lithium orotateOther Forms: Symmetry Homeopathic Nasal Spray
FDA Approved Uses: None whatsoever
Off-Label Uses: Bipolar Disorder, Depression, PMS/PMDD, Migraines.
Pros: Allegedly it has no side effects. But that turns out to be a lie (see below).
Cons: No real documentation that it actually works. Has side effects after all. Is potentially harder on your kidneys and is more expensive than lithium carbonate.
Typical Side Effects: Muscle weakness, apathy, loss of appetite (from all of one human trial).
Not So Common Side Effects:
These may or may not happen to you don’t, so don’t be surprised one way or the other.
Interesting Stuff Your Doctor Probably Won’t Tell You: If your doctor is willing to discuss this stuff with you at all that is. The only clinical trial was done in Germany in 19731. As with any dietary supplement sold in the United States, there is no guarantee that what is on the label is really what is in the bottle.
Dosage: Regardless of the disorder, it’s 1-3 120mg tablets a day, “or as directed by your health care professional. ”
Days to Reach a Steady State: Probably a week (see half-life), but there are far too many variables involved with lithium.
When you’re fully saturated with the medication and less prone to peaks and valleys of effects. You still might have peaks of effect after taking many meds, but with a lot of the meds you’ll have fewer valleys after this point. In theory anyway.
How Long it Takes to Work: Probably never.
Half-Life & Average Time to Clear Out of Your System: According to one study lithium orotate has the same pharmacokinetics in rats as lithium carbonate does. As that’s all I have to go on, I’m presuming it’s 24 hours, thus it’s out of your system in about five days.
Comments: You see this stuff advertised on every mental health site and every mental health search you look at. The question always comes up, “It has no side effects, should I try it?”
Well, don’t pin your hopes on that “no side effects” stuff so quickly. If it were so good, why wasn’t it used sooner, especially since Dr. Nieper’s work was published over 30 years ago?
Because a subsequent study, again in rats not people, found that lithium orotate is even harder on your kidneys that lithium carbonate is! Yow! Lithium carbonate is hard enough on your plumbing, I’d hate to think what this crap would do to you. The study concluded, “It seems inadvisable to use lithium orotate for the treatment of patients.” This was a follow-up to the study that showed you did get more lithium orotate in a rat’s brain than you did with lithium carbonate. But to get anywhere near a therapeutic dosage of lithium levels for bipolar disorder your kidneys would be in full revolt apparently.
Enough with the e-mail about the above studies. Either rat studies aren’t good enough at all, or rat studies are good. You can’t use one rat study to prove your point and dismiss another.
So the stuff has been studied. It didn’t pass the test of real science. At least to be ethically tested on humans. But, hey, if all y’all true believers want to volunteer for some double-blind studies, be my guest. I think rat studies go only so far. And not against placebo either. I don’t like placebo tests. Lithium orotate vs lithium carbonate. Or Depakote. Or something else proven to work. Put your mania where your mouth is.
But that’s not what really convinced me it was crap. What really convinced me it was crap was the information on the website of one of the distributors of a lithium orotate product. They’ve toned it down a bit, but fortunately it lives on at The Silver Fleece Awards. There used to be real gems up on the site, like:
originally discovered and patented by world-renowned Doctor,
Scientist and Physicist, Hans A. Nieper, M.D.
Dr. Nieper’s former patients include
Princess Caroline of Monaco, John Wayne, Yul Brenner, Anthony Quinn,
Natalie Woods (sic), Red Buttons, Fred McMurray, Russian Party
leaders, the modern German King of Hanover, and many other worldwide
dignitaries including members of the KGB before Communism fell…
Tell me, has your bullshit detector gone off yet? Mine certainly did! First the late doctor Nieper found time to be both a physicist and a medical doctor, then he treated a whole bunch of famous people who are all dead or otherwise in no position to talk about what the stuff was really like.
Yeah, I’m sure this crap works.
I could find just one open-label trial where lithium orotate was used as a psychiatric medication. In a group of 105 alcoholics it was used to treat alcoholism along with the standard treatments and other mineral supplements. The results: only 42 could tolerate it after six months. Of those, all of ten patients had no relapses after three years. Granted, this is far from the med’s ideal purpose, but it was the only human study I could find online. And it shows that lithium orotate does have side effects when used at the recommended dosage, contrary to all the claims made about it, so they are listed above.