What laboratory testing should be ordered before starting lithium?

Learning Goal: I’m working on a nursing discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.Mei Kimura is a 29-year-old Japanese person (pronouns they/them/their) who comes to see you in your office after they were hospitalized for 14 days for a manic episode. Mei has bipolar I disorder. They are 5’ 8” and 150 pounds.QuestionsMei is currently prescribed lithium CR 900 mg daily. Their most recent lithium level was 0.6 m Eq/L.What psychiatric disorders and/or symptoms is lithium FDA-indicated to treat?
What phase of bipolar (such as manic, mixed, depressed) is lithium most effective in managing?
How does lithium work; what is the mechanism of action?
What formulations does lithium come in? What dosing differences are there (if any) based on the formulation (such as frequency, starting dose, and so on)?
What laboratory testing should be ordered before starting lithium?
What is the normal reference range for monitoring lithium levels?
Based on Mei’s lithium level and how they present to you, what changes (if any) would you make with Mei’s lithium CR? Why? Provide the dose, route, and timing/frequency for all medication changes.
When would you check another lithium level (that is, how many days after starting or changing the dose, what time of day/how long after the last dose would you check it)?
Identify the most commonly expected side effects associated with lithium about which you would educate the patient.
Identify the most serious potential adverse effects associated with lithium about which you would educate the patient to immediately report.
Identify any drug-drug, food-drug, substance-drug, or herb-drug interactions that Mei should avoid while taking lithium.
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