Lithium tremor revisited: pathophysiology and treatment
Article first published online: 3 JUL 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume 129, Issue 1, pages 17–23, January 2014
How to Cite
Lithium tremor revisited: pathophysiology and treatment, , .
- Issue published online: 12 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 3 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 MAY 2013
- bipolar disorder
Tremor occurs frequently as a side-effect of lithium, and it is, however, easily overlooked in the clinical setting. In this article, we attempt to review the pathophysiology and the clinical approach of lithium tremor.
We searched the Pubmed and Cochrane Library for relevant articles up to the year 2012. Sixty-four articles including 10 review papers, 3 clinical trials, and 12 case reports were reviewed.
Lithium tremor is classified as a postural tremor and subcategorized as an exaggerated physiologic tremor. Differential diagnosis includes metabolic abnormalities, benign essential tremor, Parkinson's disease, and lithium toxicity. Various methods of evaluating lithium tremor and treatment options are discussed.
When lithium tremor has developed, thorough history taking, physical examination, and blood examination including serum lithium level are needed. Pharmacotherapy is indicated only in patients with disabling tremor.