Warn lithium patients about crashes
Patients prescribed lithium must be told they could be doubling their risk of a dangerous car crash, according to a new study.
The Canadian study, published in last week's BMJ, found that elderly drivers on lithium were twice as likely to have a crash where someone was injured compared with those not on the drug.
Lithium has been linked to impaired memory and slow reaction times. Another common mood stabiliser, carbamazepine, was not found to be associated with the risk of serious car crashes.
Professor Samy Suissa, report author and director of clinicial epidemiology at McGill University Health Centre, said: 'Patients who
are prescribed lithium must
be told about the in-
creased risk of motor vehicle crashes.'