Serenity™ Lithium Orotate
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Q:  Do you know anything about Serenity™ Lithium Orotate

My wife has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she stopped seeing her last psychiatrist because he didn't treat  her like a person, just another number.  We are doing all the research we can about every available treatment for bipolar disorder bot the traditional and alternative. I have read lot's of information about Lithium Orotate, what do you know about this vs. Lithium Carbonate.

Dear Mr. G' -- 
Well, that's interesting (thanks for the direct link info').  While one knee was jerking to the thought "where's the evidence?", I was trying to direct the other knee toward the thought "well, who knows?  maybe somehow he's on to something".  

There's the one testimonial on the site that talks about switching from lithium carbonate to this "oronate" and seeing a decrease in side effects.  I'll have to remember this as an option to try sometime when I'm really desperate, e.g. if I've tried all sorts of stuff and lithium's the best but the side effects are limiting.  Then, in such a person, if there was a clear improvement in the ability to tolerate lithium, I'd ask her or him if we could conduct some "A/B/A" trials: switching from one form of lithium to the other a couple of times (switching back to the orotate each time if things immediately got worse on the carbonate).  Then, I'd believe I had the very beginning of hard information to go on.  

Until then, we have only a testimonial that appears on a site which sells lithium for $35 when the carbonate generic is about $5.  The site also notes that the orotate version has not been investigated by the FDA, and that the statements on the site are -- dig this -- "not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease".  That's a pretty amazing disclaimer to follow the very direct claims to treat and cure symptoms which appear right above it. 

So, you see I'm having a little trouble with the trust factor.  This is made even worse by the idea that this site sells lithium for use without any lab measures of lithium level.  I'd bet the product comes with some warning about "don't use any more than three per day" or something like that, and that each pill has so little lithium in it that Dr. Knieper and company don't have to worry about getting anybody anywhere near lithium toxicity.  

To really appreciate the irony of this situation, you'd have to know the story of how a doctor named Cade discovered lithium's effects in 1950 in Australia, but then the later discovery as well that lithium could kill people -- leading to a dramatic set-back in the use of lithium that lasted years.  And here we are seeing somebody peddling lithium for use without any supervision.  Stunning.  

If you try the ABA routine above, let me know what you discover.  Thanks. 

Dr. Phelps

Published January, 2003 


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