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Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library lithium

lithium

Pronunciation: LITH ee um

Brand: Lithobid

Lithium Carbonate

slide 1 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

450 mg, round, white, imprinted with 54 346

Image of Lithium Carbonate
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Lithium Carbonate

slide 2 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

300 mg, round, beige, imprinted with 54 107

Image of Lithium Carbonate
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Lithium Carbonate

slide 3 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

150 mg, capsule, white, imprinted with 54 213

Image of Lithium Carbonate
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Lithium Carbonate

slide 4 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

300 mg, capsule, flesh, imprinted with 54 463

Image of Lithium Carbonate
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Lithium Carbonate

slide 5 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

600 mg, capsule, pink/white, imprinted with 54 702

Image of Lithium Carbonate
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Lithium Carbonate

slide 6 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

300 mg, round, white, imprinted with 54 452

Image of Lithium Carbonate
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Lithium Carbonate

slide 7 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

150 mg, capsule, white, imprinted with 54 213

Image of Lithium Carbonate
slide 7 of 27

Lithium Carbonate

slide 8 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

300 mg, capsule, flesh, imprinted with 54 463

Image of Lithium Carbonate
slide 8 of 27

Lithium Carbonate

slide 9 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

300 mg, round, white, imprinted with 54 452

Image of Lithium Carbonate
slide 9 of 27

Lithium Carbonate

slide 10 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

600 mg, capsule, pink/white, imprinted with 54 702

Image of Lithium Carbonate
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Lithium Carbonate

slide 11 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

450 mg, round, yellow, imprinted with WW 277

Image of Lithium Carbonate
slide 11 of 27

Lithium Carbonate

slide 12 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

300 mg, round, white, imprinted with WW 300

Image of Lithium Carbonate
slide 12 of 27

Lithium Carbonate

slide 13 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

300 mg, round, peach, imprinted with M, LC 300

Image of Lithium Carbonate
slide 13 of 27

Lithium Carbonate

slide 14 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

150 mg, capsule, white, imprinted with H, 97

Image of Lithium Carbonate
slide 14 of 27

Lithium Carbonate

slide 15 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

300 mg, capsule, pink, imprinted with H, 98

Image of Lithium Carbonate
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Lithium Carbonate

slide 16 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

300 mg, round, white, imprinted with 430

Image of Lithium Carbonate
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Lithium Carbonate

slide 17 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

300 mg, round, pink, imprinted with 223

Image of Lithium Carbonate
slide 17 of 27

Lithium Carbonate

slide 18 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

450 mg, round, white, imprinted with 224, G

Image of Lithium Carbonate
slide 18 of 27

Eskalith-CR

slide 19 of 27, Eskalith-CR,

450 mg, round, yellow, imprinted with SKF J10

Image of Eskalith-CR
slide 19 of 27

Lithium Carbonate

slide 20 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

150 mg, capsule, buff, imprinted with A, 101

Image of Lithium Carbonate
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Lithium Carbonate

slide 21 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

300 mg, capsule, pink, imprinted with A, 102

Image of Lithium Carbonate
slide 21 of 27

Lithium Carbonate

slide 22 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

300 mg, round, white, imprinted with 345, b

Image of Lithium Carbonate
slide 22 of 27

Lithium Carbonate

slide 23 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

300 mg, round, brown, imprinted with 54 107

Image of Lithium Carbonate
slide 23 of 27

Lithium Carbonate

slide 24 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

600 mg, capsule, pink/buff, imprinted with A, 103

Image of Lithium Carbonate
slide 24 of 27

Lithium Carbonate

slide 25 of 27, Lithium Carbonate,

450 mg, round, white/yellow, imprinted with 224, G

Image of Lithium Carbonate
slide 25 of 27

Lithobid

slide 26 of 27, Lithobid,

300 mg, round, pink, imprinted with SOLVAY 4492

Image of Lithobid
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Lithonate

slide 27 of 27, Lithonate,

300 mg, pink, imprinted with SOLVAY, 7512

Image of Lithonate
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What is the most important information I should know about lithium?

What is the most important information I should know about lithium?

Lithium toxicity (too much lithium in your body) can cause death. Lithium toxicity can occur if you take only slightly more than a recommended dose.

Stop using lithium and call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of lithium toxicity: muscle weakness, twitching, drowsiness, feeling light-headed, mood changes, blurred vision, ringing in your ears, irregular heartbeats, confusion, slurred speech, clumsiness, trouble breathing, or seizures.

What is lithium?

What is lithium?

Lithium is a mood stabilizer that is used to treat or control the manic episodes of bipolar disorder (manic depression). Manic symptoms include hyperactivity, rushed speech, poor judgment, reduced need for sleep, aggression, and anger. Lithium also helps to prevent or lessen the intensity of manic episodes.

Lithium is for use in adults and children at least 7 years old.

Lithium may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking lithium?

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking lithium?

You should not use lithium if you are allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • breathing problems;
  • heart disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • a thyroid disorder;
  • an abnormal electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG);
  • fainting spells; or
  • a family member who died before age 45.

Some medicines can interact with lithium and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome. Be sure your doctor knows if you also take stimulant medicine, opioid medicine, herbal products, or medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. Ask your doctor before making any changes in how or when you take your medications.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Lithium is not approved for use by anyone younger than 7 years old.

How should I take lithium?

How should I take lithium?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Never use lithium in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Lithium overdose can occur if you take only slightly more than a recommended dose.

Swallow the tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.

Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Call your doctor if you are sick with a fever and vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual. You can easily become dehydrated while taking lithium, which may affect your dose needs. Do not change your dose or medication schedule without your doctor's advice.

Drink extra fluids each day to prevent dehydration.

It may take up to 3 weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not begin to improve after 1 week of treatment.

You may need frequent blood tests.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using lithium.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

What happens if I overdose?

Stop taking lithium and seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Early signs of lithium toxicity include: vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, muscle weakness, or loss of coordination.

What should I avoid while taking lithium?

What should I avoid while taking lithium?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise, in hot weather, or by not drinking enough fluids. Follow your doctor's instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink. In some cases, drinking too much liquid can be as unsafe as not drinking enough.

Do not change the amount of salt you consume in your diet. Changing your salt intake could change the amount of lithium in your blood.

What are the possible side effects of lithium?

What are the possible side effects of lithium?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Too much lithium in your body can cause death. Lithium toxicity can occur if you take only slightly more than a recommended dose.

Stop using lithium and call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of lithium toxicity: muscle weakness, twitching, drowsiness, feeling light-headed, mood changes, blurred vision, ringing in your ears, irregular heartbeats, confusion, slurred speech, clumsiness, trouble breathing, or seizures.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • shortness of breath;
  • fever, increased thirst or urination;
  • weakness, dizziness or spinning sensation;
  • memory problems, hallucinations;
  • problems with balance or muscle movement;
  • loss of bowel or bladder control;
  • a seizure (blackout or convulsions);
  • low sodium level --headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady;
  • thyroid problems --weight gain or loss, muscle pain, tremors, feeling hot or cold, changes in your skin or hair, sweating, feeling weak or tired, fast or pounding heartbeats, increased bowel movements, feeling anxious or agitated;
  • dehydration symptoms --feeling very thirsty or hot, being unable to urinate, heavy sweating, or hot and dry skin; or
  • increased pressure inside the skull --severe headaches, ringing in your ears, dizziness, nausea, vision problems, pain behind your eyes.

Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Common side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness;
  • tremors in your hands;
  • trouble walking;
  • dry mouth, increased thirst or urination;
  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
  • rash; or
  • blurred vision.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect lithium?

What other drugs will affect lithium?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines. Many drugs can affect lithium, especially:

  • buspirone;
  • fentanyl;
  • St. John's wort;
  • tramadol;
  • a "triptan" migraine headache medicine;
  • tryptophan;
  • an antidepressant or antipsychotic medication; or
  • an MAO inhibitor --isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

This list is not complete and many other drugs may affect lithium. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Where can I get more information?

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about lithium.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

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