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Table of Contents > Drug > Lithium Print

Lithium

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Lithobid®
    • Brand Names: Canada: Apo-Lithium® Carbonate;Apo-Lithium® Carbonate SR;CarbolithT;Duralith®;Euro-Lithium;LithaneT;Lithmax;PHL-Lithium Carbonate;PMS-Lithium Carbonate;PMS-Lithium Citrate
    • Mexican Brand Names: Carbolit;Litheum 300
    • Pharmacologic Category: Antimanic Agent

    Uses
    • It is used to help low mood (depression) drugs work better.
    • It is used to treat bold or forceful actions.
    • It is used to treat manic low mood (depression).
    • It is used to treat post-traumatic stress.
    • Lithium helps steady mood.
    • It works on helping social interactions, mood, expression of mood, as well as, delusions, paranoia, and look.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
    • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
    • Keep your salt use the same from day to day.
    • Long-acting products: Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
    • There is a liquid (syrup) if you cannot swallow pills.
    • Those who have feeding tubes may also use the liquid. Flush the feeding tube before and after this drug is given.
    • Stop tube feeding before giving this drug and restart after giving.

    Missed Dose

    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
    • Do not change the dose or stop this drug. Talk with the doctor.

    Storage

    • Store at room temperature.
    • Protect capsules and tablets from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.

    Safety



    Warnings

    • You need to follow what the doctor told you about blood tests while taking this drug.
    • Unsafe side effects may happen. This drug cannot be taken while you are taking some other drugs. Check all the drugs you are taking with your doctor.

    Avoid

    • If you have an allergy to lithium or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you have any of these health problems: Fluid loss, very bad kidney disease, poor eating habits, or very bad heart disease.
    • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
    • If you are breast-feeding.

    Precautions

    • If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
    • If you have kidney disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have a weak heart, talk with your doctor. Some of the drugs and diet used to treat a weak heart may change the lithium blood level.
    • Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • You may not be alert. Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions until you see how this drug affects you.
    • If you start on a low-salt diet, tell your doctor. It will change the way your body handles the lithium.
    • Avoid beer, wine, or mixed drinks.
    • Limit your use of caffeine (for example, tea, coffee, cola) and chocolate. Use with this drug may cause nervousness, shakiness, and a fast heartbeat.
    • Be careful in hot weather. Drink lots of fluids to stop fluid loss.
    • Take good care of your teeth. See a dentist often.
    • Use birth control that you can trust to stop pregnancy while taking this drug.

    Side Effects

    • Feeling lightheaded, sleepy, having blurred eyesight, or a change in thinking clearly. Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert or have clear eyesight until you see how this drug affects you.
    • Shakiness.
    • Headache.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Passing urine often.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Very bad dizziness.
    • Big change in balance.
    • Change in thinking clearly and with logic.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Too much sweat or fluid loss.
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • Any rash.
    • Health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2010 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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