Question: How effective is lithium in treating various stages of bipolar disorder, and is it best only for certain people?
Answer: Lithium is effective for the treatment of bipolar disorder, but it takes a while to become effective. For most people, 20-40 percent will respond to lithium alone, however it may take a while for that to occur. Lithium is known to prevent the mania that's associated with bipolar disorder.
It can also reduce current recurrent depression. However, it's not the most effective medication for the acute symptoms of mania or bipolar depression.