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Keywords:

  • lithium;
  • antidepressant drug;
  • self-poisoning

Our clinical experience that lithium is an agent used infrequently for self-poisoning was investigated. The rate at which such overdoses occurred was determined from hospital records. A retrospective casenotes study then compared overdose rates in patients taking lithium versus patients on antidepressant medication. A low rate of lithium overdoses was identified, and this appeared to be due to patients on lithium rarely taking overdoses rather than their choice of agent.