Lithium (Lithobid) is effective in balancing mood in people with bipolar disorder . How it works is not completely understood. It may affect certain brain chemicals ( neurotransmitters ) that cause mood changes.
Common side effects of lithium include:
Lithium is a salt and acts like other salts (such as sodium) in the body. Any change in the balance between body salts and liquids (mostly water) in the body can change the amount of lithium in the blood. Lithium blood levels need to be kept within a safe range. High levels can cause serious side effects, even death. Low levels can cause symptoms of mania or depression. You will need to learn how to keep your lithium blood levels at a safe and effective level and to recognize the signs of high lithium , which include drowsiness, muscle twitching, and diarrhea.
It is very important to have your blood tested regularly (from every week to every 6 or 12 months) to check lithium blood levels.
You also need to be aware of the following:
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