This medicine contains the active ingredient lithium, which belongs to a group of medicines called mood stabilizers. These medicines stabilize chemical levels that affect the cells in the brain which are responsible for our mood. Lithium is prescribed for the treatment and control of mania (excitement, happiness, irritation, and distraction), depression (helplessness, hopelessness, worthlessness, and sadness), bipolar disorder (switching between feeling high and feeling very low) and aggressive or self-harming behavior.
Is Lithium suitable for me?
Lithium is not suitable for everyone. Do not use it
- if you are allergic to lithium or other ingredients of this medicine
- if you have kidney or heart problems
- if you have thyroid problems
- if you are dehydrated
- if you are on a low sodium diet
- if you have Addison's Disease
- if you have a rare condition called Brugada syndrome
- if you are breastfeeding
In particular, you must tell the doctor if you:
- have kidney problems
- have a cold or flu
- have gastroenteritis
- have a urinary infection
- are elderly
- have psoriasis (a skin disorder)
- have myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness)
- are not eating or drinking properly
- have an infection
- have an intolerance to some sugars
- are taking medicines to treat epilepsy
- have heart problems
- are about to receive anesthetics
Lithium interacts with other medicines. It is most important that you tell the doctor all the medications and herbal supplements that you are currently taking.
See the package leaflet for a complete list of possible contraindications and warnings.
How should I take Lithium?
This medicine is available in form of a tablet.
You should take lithium exactly as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist. The dose will be prescribed according to your age, condition and needs.
It should be not used in children.
Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, or do not use it for a longer time than your doctor instructed. Also, this medicine works best if there is a constant amount in the blood. To help keep this amount constant, do not miss any doses and take the medicine at the same time each day. Do not take two doses together if you miss a dose.
Read the information leaflet provided with your medication for additional information. Talk to your doctor if you have any additional questions.
What are Lithium side effects?
Like all medicines lithium can cause side effects, including:
- water retention and swelling (oedema)
- changes in your heart rate, slow heartbeat
- drop in blood pressure (hypotension)
- increase in white blood cells (leukocytosis),
- increased blood sugar (hyperglycaemia)
- increased calcium levels
- slurred speech or feeling dazed
- sleepiness, memory loss or hallucinations
- mild shaking of your hands or jerky muscle movements
- seizures, fits
- acne, swelling and redness
- skin rash
- taste disturbance
- loss of appetite or weight gain
- dry mouth
- sexual dysfunction
Consult a doctor if the side effects are severe. See the package leaflet for a complete list of side effects.