30 Sept 2022

New booklet on lithium therapy for Kildare patients launched

New booklet on lithium therapy for Kildare patients launched

Photo by Valelopardo via Pixabay

A new patient Information Booklet on Lithium Therapy has been launched.

Over 350 people in Kildare are believed to be on lithium medication, which is often used to treat Bipolar Disorder and severe depression.

The booklet was created as part of a venture by Saint John of God Hospital Pharmacy, the HSE National Medication Safety Programme, and the Irish Pharmacy Union.

The joint initiative aims to promote safer lithium therapy and empower patients to engage more with their Healthcare Professional on all aspects of lithium therapy including monitoring and potential side-effects.

Commenting on the booklet, Newbridge-based GP Dr Brendan O’ Shea called the development 'a welcome initiative.'

He said: "There is strong evidence which supports the use of such tools as this, and they are particularly helpful for prescribing which is either complex or potentially hazardous.

Dr Brendan O' Shea. He is an Assistant Adjuvant Professor in Primary Care and Public Health at Trinity College Dublin and a Specialist in General Practice & Occupational Medicine. Pic: Twitter 

"The booklet acts as a shared record between the individual and their prescribes, and it is also a source of the important key points that ensure best use of what is still a very important medication for many people with Bipolar Affective Disorder.

Dr O’ Shea continued: "In our health system, medical care is ever more complex, and booklets such as this one are a relatively inexpensive way to maintain continuity.

"From a GP perspective, safe-prescribing is essential, challenging and really really worthwhile."

He concluded: "We advise that all people taking more than five regular medications should keep a list of their regular medications with them at all times, and especially for attending any of their medical appointments: printed lists can be obtained from your Pharmacist or GP."

Dr Orla Healy, National Clinical Director Quality and Patient Safety with the HSE also welcomed the news.

She said: "The HSE National Quality and Patient Safety Directorate are delighted to support this initiative, and to share the excellent practice from our colleagues in Saint John of God Hospital with people who are prescribed lithium and healthcare professionals engaging with them throughout the country."

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