Lithium citrate is a major chemical ingredient used in mood stabilizing drugs manufactured around the globe. It is a water-soluble, granular, white, crystalline powder which also dissolves slightly in alcohol. Lithium citrate is prepared as a solution from citric acid and lithium hydroxide in the form of di-lithium citrate. It is commonly employed in specific medications for people suffering mania, depression, and abnormal moods classified under a mental illness termed as the bipolar disorder. Lithium, as an element, is also found in primary food sources such as vegetables, grains, and drinking water. It is a vital macronutrient needed for proper functioning of the brain. However, lithium deficiency is not yet acknowledged around the world. Medical studies have proved that low lithium intakes from food and water is associated with increasing rates of homicides, suicides, drug abuse, and other crimes.
According to the National Institute of Health, lithium medications are effectively used for treatment and possibly prevention of mania, which is often described as an abnormally excited or depressed mood. Lithium citrate is defined as an anti-manic agent in a class of drugs, which work by decreasing abnormal activity in the brain. Medication is generally a long-term process and often also prescribed for impulse control disorders, schizophrenia, blood disorders, schizoaffective disorders, and mental illnesses in children. Dosage is strictly monitored and the prescribed dose varies from one person to another, depending on the phase of the illness. Generally, bipolar disorder is treated with other additional drugs, resulting in varying dosages of lithium citrate.
Lithium citrate is generally used in the form of liquids syrups, capsules, tablets, and extended-release tablets and consumed orally. These medications may also lead to side effects. Regular blood tests are recommended to check thyroid or kidney functioning which could be affected. Usage of lithium citrate should also be avoided during pregnancy. Common symptoms of lithium citrate toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, muscular weakness, drowsiness, and lack of coordination. Mild nausea and general discomfort may also be observed during the first few days of medication. Lithium citrate is extensively employed in a variety of processes carried out in the pharmaceuticals, nutritional supplements, and medical drug research industries as also to maintain healthy brain functioning in humans.
The increasing demand for lithium citrate in various psychotropic drugs and diuretics is driving the global market for lithium citrate. The rising incidence of mental disorders, neutropenia, and symptoms of mental depression around the globe as well as decreasing nutritional value of food products result in demand for the addition of nutritional value to dietary products and subsequently to lithium citrate. However, competition from other organic chemicals, side-effects of the drugs, development of generic ingredients, and escalating prices of lithium citrate all around the world are major restraints for the market.
Developed regions such as North America and Europe are the top consumers of lithium citrate and its salts such as lithium citrate carbonate. Industries such as pharmaceuticals and food are utilizing it to improve the quality of their products. Southeast Asia is an expanding market which offers development potential for the lithium citrate market. Presently, Brazil is the leading supplier of lithium and its salts, followed by India, North America, and Europe.
Key producers of lithium citrate include Talison Lithium Limited, Nemaska Lithium Inc., Sociedad Quimica y Minera, Orocobre Limited, Quinghai Lithium, Citic Guoan MGL, and SQM Ltd. The burgeoning pharmaceutical industry and growing cases of mental disorders have propelled this market, leading to increased development and consumption of psychotropic drugs.