Introduction

At first sight, it may seem incongruous to combine discussions of lithium and L-type calcium-channel blockers in a chapter on treatments for patients with bipolar illness. Whereas lithium is perhaps the best-studied drug for the acute and prophylactic treatment of manic- depressive illness, only a bare minimum of data suggest the potential efficacy of the dihydropyridine L-type calcium-channel blockers. Whereas lithium is a simple heavy metal ion with a panoply of neurochemical actions, the dihydropyridine L-type calcium-channel blockers are complex compounds that act at the cell membrane to regulate intracellular calcium influx through voltage-dependent calcium channels.

Yet, a considerable body of evidence suggests that a variety of lithium's effects also alter intracellular calcium levels and dynamics, and preliminary data suggest that lithium and L-type calcium-channel blockers may have common clinical effects in bipolar patients. Thus, their common and differential pharmacology and side-effects profile allows for an interesting comparative analysis, which is likely to have increasing clinical relevance as the potential role for the L-type calcium-channel blockers in bipolar illness is further elucidated.

Anxiety and Depression 101

Anxiety and Depression 101

Everything you ever wanted to know about. We have been discussing depression and anxiety and how different information that is out on the market only seems to target one particular cure for these two common conditions that seem to walk hand in hand.

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