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Lithium carbonate

Overall Rating
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2.97
Rating:

2.97

***
(Out of 5 Stars)
Side Effects
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2.1
Pricing
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3.94
Average Price: $20.50 Thumbs up Recommended By
70% of reviewers (of 61 reviews)
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Lithium Carbonate

Generic Name: Lithium Carbonate LITH-ee-um KAR-bone-ate

Drug Class: Lithium Salts

 

Contents

 

Description
Lithium is used to treat people with bipolar disorder (extreme mood changes from depression or anger to elation). This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
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General Information
This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your healthcare provider. 

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Proper use of this medicine
Follow the directions on your prescription label. Do not take more or less of lithium than prescribed by your doctor. Lithium may cause an upset stomach. Take lithium with food or milk. Drink at least 8-12 glasses of water or another beverage each day (unless your doctor tells you otherwise) and use a moderate amount of salt on your food. However, if your doctor puts you on a low-salt or low-sodium diet, follow it. Avoid drinking beverages with caffeine, such as tea, coffee, cola, or chocolate milk. The extended-release tablet must be swallowed whole; do not crush or chew it.
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Missed Dose
Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses.
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Storage
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.
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Possible Side Effects
    • drowsiness
    • upset stomach
    • loss of appetite
    • stomach pain
    • weight gain
    • headache
    • If you experience any of these side effects, contact your doctor as soon as possible:
    • weakness
    • tired feeling
    • fever
    • tremor or muscle spasms
    • confusion
    • diarrhea
    • vomiting
    • fast heartbeat
    • seizures or involuntary movements
    • Unreported side effects are possible, talk to your healthcare provider if any other symptoms occur.
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Warnings/Precautions
    • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to lithium, aspirin, tartrazine (a yellow dye in some processed foods and drugs), or any other drugs.
    • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart or kidney disease, shock therapy, thyroid disease, dehydration, or low sodium levels.
    • Tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking lithium before any surgical or dental procedures.
    • This medicine can cause dizziness or drowsiness.
    • Be cautious when driving or performing other hazardous activities. This medicine can impair judgment.
    • Alcoholic beverages can increase the effects of this medicine and should be avoided.
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Overdose
Seek medical attention immediately. U.S. residents can call the national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly.
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Drug Interactions
    • Before taking lithium, tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially acetazolamide (Diamox), caffeine-containing products, captopril (Capoten), carbamazepine (Tegretol), diuretics ('water pills'), enalapril (Vasotec), fluoxetine (Prozac), haloperidol (Haldol), heart medication, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, or Nuprin), iodide salts, lisinopril (Zestril), medication for depression, methyldopa (Aldomet), phenytoin (Dilantin), sodium bicarbonate and other antacids, theophylline (TheoDur), verapamil (Calan), and vitamins.

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Pregnancy/Nursing
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking lithium, call your doctor.
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More Information

For more information about this medicine, talk to your healthcare provider.
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Copyright 2006 PharmClips, Inc. All rights reserved. www.pharmclips.com
This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This is general information and should not in any event be construed as specific instructions for individual patients. The publisher does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the information or the consequences arising from the application, use, or misuse of any of the information contained herein, including any injury and/or damage to any person or property as a matter of product liability, negligence, or otherwise. No warranty, expressed or implied, is made in regard to the contents of this material. The reader is advised to check with their health care provider before making any changes in their drug regimen.

Last reviewed:
  On 8 Aug 2006
  By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.


 

4213lithium_carbonate.jpg

 

 

 

 





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Reviews
 
Hopeful Camel
Member

Registered: May 2013
Location: Western U.S.
Posts: 252
Mon October 13, 2014 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 3 

 
PROS: mood stabilization
CONS: tremors

Moderately good control of mood swings. However, I am having severe tremors and internal shakiness that is debilitating. It outweighs that good that the medication is doing.

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fabulousdivararity
Member

Registered: May 2014
Location: Arizona
Posts: 30
Thu June 5, 2014 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: Helped stop my depression overnight
CONS: Bad for kidneys

Fantastic for bipolar II!

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BPD Ghost
Member

Registered: February 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 33
Sun February 23, 2014 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: It made me numb.
CONS: It made me numb and I self-harmed and eventually attempted suicide. This stuff is lethal.

This drug is a bad word in our house.

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wolfclaw
New Member

Registered: January 2014
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 6
Tue January 28, 2014 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS:
CONS:

Lithium seems to help with depression but mostly helps with anxiety & or Bipolar1 disorder

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misskrome
Member

Registered: January 2014
Location: ...
Posts: 229
Mon January 20, 2014 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $2.00| Rating: 2 

 
PROS: none
CONS: none

Not strong enough to even put a dent in my mood swings and rages but cannot increase without reaching toxicity level. Very minor side effects. a little trouble emptying bladder (not even bad enough to be worth mentioning, really), little hair loss (just a tad) and the occasional random gasp for air. Really, the least amount of side effects I have ever experienced on any medication, but isn't doing anything to help my stability. I'm still afraid of leaving my house because I just know I may hurt someone.

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Topher
Grand Member

Registered: February 2005
Posts: 769
Wed November 6, 2013 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: Almost completely effective in preventing major manic and depressive episodes
CONS: Must be closely monitored for toxic side effects

I am a 30 year user with low side effects. The two most noticable side effects are dry mouth and a slight tremor in my hands. I have extreme psychotic breaks without lithium - major depression or severe manic episodes with psychosis. It seems a miracle to me that a simple salt can prevent these symptoms. iam one of the lucky ones with a major mental illness that can lead a perfectly normal life with one medication.

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suchalargepillcase
Junior Member

Registered: June 2013
Location: West Seneca, NY
Posts: 19
Sun June 30, 2013 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: Totally got rid of my episodes.
CONS: Some weight gain, major dehydration, can have almost no caffeine, makes me kind of foggy and zombie like.

It has made me extremely stable. The side-effects were horrible but besides the dehydration they all leveled out over a few weeks. It made me feel really good and normal once the side-effects wore off. I just have to have beverages available at all times and it's made my brain slightly foggy so my memory and speech aren't as sharp as they once were. Definitely worth it though for the stability.

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Thu May 2, 2013 Recommended? No | Total Spent: $15.00| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: lithium carbonate
CONS: too many side effects

I took it for a few weeks. started gaining weight, my hair was coming out,extremely thirsty. My doctor told me however that I didn't give it a chance to work and that everyone has lithium in their biody. was told I would have to get my levels checked with blood samples, no thank you.

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dollydoo
New Member

Registered: July 2012
Posts: 1
Sat July 14, 2012 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: mood stabilisation
CONS: weight gain, dehydration, feeling emotionless

been on lithium for 3 years it has helped me a lot in terms of my moods and depression. i do find that i feel like i am on an emotionless cloud, i dont really care about anything anymore, im not happy not sad just pretty much a zombie.

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Riotgirl
New Member

Registered: March 2012
Posts: 1
Thu March 1, 2012 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 5 

 
PROS: Don't know yet
CONS: Dont know yet

Imstart this tomorrow and I'm a little scared. I was diagnsised bi polar at 17, but cos my mother didn't believe it's taken till she's passed away and me 32 to be fully treated for it. I'm told it's gotten worse, I rapid cycle now. I'm mainly down, with spurts of mania. I wish I could be always mania with the energy levels. I hate no energy, exshauted all the time. Been reading here, little nervous but sorta hopeful with what everyone's said

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moogifier
New Member

Registered: July 2011
Posts: 3
Fri February 10, 2012 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: No long-term side effects (for me, at least), definitely gets a hold on my Bipolar
CONS: Dry mouth, dehydration, having to get blood drawn for level-checking

Short story long: I had been on Lithium before for about 5 years, when a bad decision made by an intern at the VA hospital landed me in the ER with lithium toxicity. What happened was I had been in the ward for a severe depressive episode and she increased my lithium from 300mg a day to 1200mg a day. I'm female and am 5'2", 100 pounds soaking wet. I was discharged from the ward with my new dosage and a started to feel very ill within the next 24 hours. I was throwing everything up (even water and popsicles) to the point where I was left dry-heaving. I was having body spasms and was constantly dizzy. At first I thought I had the stomach flu or something. For some odd reason, I didn't even give a thought to the possibility of lithium toxicity. When a nurse suggested over the phone that I go to the ER, I did. I ended up in the detox ward at the VA, getting the lithium out of my system. That was probably the sickest I have ever been. After that, I swore off all meds. Being bipolar, that probably wasn't such a smart thing to do. This past summer/fall, I got back on lithium (after a lot of conversing with my doctor) and I also take Prozac (although that's being phased out as I will be starting Wellbutrin soon). This time, the Lithium works just fine. I'm on 450mg a day (started at 300) and I think that dosage suits me fine. There were the side effects at the beginning: the shaky hands, extremely dry mouth, and upset stomach. Those have all pretty much disappeared. I feel no side effects from the meds at all, and it really has helped my moods. It has also seemed to have a calming effect on me, but I'm really not sure if that's the Lithium or the Prozac or something totally different. You just gotta' make sure you get your levels checked. Yeah, getting blood taken is no fun, but it's necessary for this.

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Tosspot
Member

Registered: November 2011
Location: North Shore, Massachusetts
Posts: 248
Sat November 12, 2011 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $8.00| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: Excellent stability
CONS: thyroid shut down

I loved Lithium but my thyroid was shutting down and I didn't want to add Synthroid to my med list. But I would def. recommend at least trying lithium and seeing how it works for you.

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rpdcycle
New Member

Registered: July 2011
Posts: 2
Mon July 18, 2011 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: price
CONS: uncontrolable rage, tremors, drinking enough water for a small village

turned my anger levels into something very scary. ended up having EMS called for slicing my arm open with a steak knife. I got 10 stitches and a psych hold. They said my lithium levels were good. Very very bad med for me. I stopped it immedietly afterwards. Oh and now my thyroid doesn't work.

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spacemonkey36
Member

Registered: March 2011
Location: Washington State
Posts: 81
Sat March 19, 2011 Recommended? No | Total Spent: $2.50| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: ??? There are-well not for me???
CONS: Oh, how about kidney failure and complete loss of lifetime thyroid function!

This drug caused me permanent kidney damage--I now have about 47% of normal kidney funcion: where I finally stabilized. But when I was admitted to the nephrology unit for DIALYSIS, I had Acute Renal Failure, and they didn't know if any of my kidney function would ever come back. I also permanently lost all thyroid function, and 16 years later, still take thyroid replacement. After several dialysis treatments, I did regain enough function to get by. But I am now permanently hampered in any treatment or medication I am given by the permanent damage to my kidneys. Watch out for that nice potential side effect I also got: nephrogenic (means it starts with the kidneys) diabetes insipidus. Hormones get released, and you have the 2 symptoms of diabetes (without the glucose problems), which are severely increased urination (we're talking about 3-4 gallons/day, and up to 1 liter at a time with each urination...8-9 times per night to pee, not to mention the times per day)...I drank up to 4 gallons a day to keep up with the fluid loss, and this fouled up my electrolytes so badly I ended up intubated in the ICU. I think I will pass. My goal in life at age 20 was not a kidney transplant. It was to graduate from college. I had to take a semester off to recover from the effects of this drug (? poison?) and it took me another year to grauate, b/c I could only do part-time my first semester back. And try and work to support myself? Good luck--and I was independent--my family was not helping me financially. So, be aware of how much you're taking in and how much you put out if you suddenly notice increased urination and THIRST. Even on 4 gallons/day, I was actually dehydrated when I was admitted to the ICU. My potassium had also been depleted to the fluids I took in, and put put, to 1.2 (normal is 3.5-5mg/dL, and you can suffer cardiac arrese at about 2.8, sometimes even at 3.0), and the nurse looked at me and said, "I have tried to resuscitate patients with higher potassium levels than you've got." Scared me to death. I list this as an allergy. I don't stop breathing in terms of hives and anaphylaxis-no, it was worse than that!

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Jane999
Junior Member

Registered: October 2006
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 18
Wed April 7, 2010 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 0 

 
PROS:
CONS:

Oh yea. I almost forgot. Incredible weight gain. Combined with an antipsychotic I put on almost 80 pounds over six months. This stuff adds an incredible health tax on your glands and nervous system.

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Jane999
Junior Member

Registered: October 2006
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 18
Wed April 7, 2010 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: Nothing
CONS: severe tremor, extreme dry mouth, lack of emotional response,

Lithium Carbonate was a horrible drug I was forced to take against my will. I had to take 1500mg daily and I suffered. Dry mouth that never went away was the least of my problems. I was always tired, reading was a chore. When you are fourteen years old you shouldn't be moving like a palsied senior citizen. I couldn't feel my emotions much anymore except occasionally sadness that this was happening to me. Six months was far too long to have had my blood toxic and getting stuck with needles to make sure my kidney's weren't dying. I was so much happier off of it and my body felt clean again when this crap was out of me. If you didn't have a chemical imbalance before, this stuff will give you one. Suffering the illness symptoms was preferable to life under the effects of this toxin.

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4alleternity
Newly Joined

Registered: February 2010
Fri February 26, 2010 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: ?
CONS: serious weight gain

i didnt like it at all. My doctor put me on 500 mg and i gained 50 pounds within months and it was so hard to get off until i stopped taking the medicine.

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4alleternity
Newly Joined

Registered: February 2010
Fri February 26, 2010 Recommended? No | Total Spent: $20.00| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: ?
CONS: serious weight gain

i didnt like it at all. i gained 50 pounds within months and it was so hard to get off until i stopped taking the medicine.

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skuldam
Newly Joined

Registered: December 2009
Tue December 1, 2009 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: calmness, stablizes mood
CONS: hand tremors, regular blood tests

Eight months ago I had first manic episode which I had to be hospitalized. As in inpatient, I was given Zyprexa, which works, but I gained 25 lbs in 2 weeks. I also feel sleepiness midday. As an outpatient, I switched to Lithium and did not have any of the side-effects Zyprexa has.Initially, I had to find my therapeutic level so constant blood checks is a bit of a hassle. But after that, Lithium feels great at .7 therapeutic level. I was on 1500mg of Lithium before having to quit due the potential negative effects to my kidneys. I'd prefer to be on Lithium had this not been the case since it made me feel like my old self. My hands did shake a bit, but the effect was not unbearable.Right now, I'm on Abilify and Depakote. This cocktail is just not the same since my daytime sleepiness is the same as when I was with Zyprexa.

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phoenix47baby
Grand Member

Registered: September 2009
Location: Southern California
Posts: 619
Tue November 17, 2009 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $10.00| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: life saving product for some
CONS: fine hand tremor, regular blood tests

life saving product for me

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psychodwnldr
Newly Joined

Registered: October 2009
Location: maryland
Sat October 17, 2009 Recommended? No | Total Spent: $6.00| Rating: 1 

 
PROS:
CONS: agitated,moody.headaches,lack of sleep

my doctor put me on cymbalta for my anxity and mood swings then i was diagnosed w/cyclothymic personality,my shrink put me on lithium 900mgs. 11 days i was on it i was tired,agitated and mood was back to were it was before i stared taking the cymbalta.Lithium just wasnt for me. I've been off it for 2 days w/just taking the cymbalta and i feel great

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Topher
Grand Member

Registered: February 2005
Posts: 769
Wed September 30, 2009 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $20.00| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: Excellent mood stabilizer for bipolar I individuals
CONS: Slight side effects and the need for serum level monitoring

I have classic bipolar I symptoms with extreme manic episodes requiring hospitalization and clinical depressive episodes. Since becoming compliant with lithium in 1981 I have been symptom free until this year, that is 28 years. Unfortunately, when my mother died in April my serum lithium level was low and I suffered a manic relapse that requirerd a brief hospitalization. This medication despite some diarrhea and mild hand tremor is a God send, allowing me to life a normal life without any fuzziness in my thinking. I do have to be careful about drinking too much which is a bit of a sacrifice. It is not for everyone but if you are bipolar I it is usually the drug of choice.

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glindanorth
Newly Joined

Registered: August 2008
Fri August 14, 2009 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $10.00| Rating: 6 

 
PROS: controls mood swings effectively and neutralizes suicide ideation
CONS: weight gain, dry mouth, balance problems, cognitive decline

Lithium won't win any awards for enhancing one's physical comfort or appearance, nor will it help you appear smart. I have lost major IQ points on lithium, and I often find myself searching for words when speaking and forgetting the mostobvious things. I put on 50 pounds in under two years taking this medication.Dry mouth and dizziness are a given. On the other hand, I lost the desire to act on any suicidal thoughts romping through my brain.

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toriiixx
Junior Member

Registered: June 2009
Location: galway newyork
Posts: 11
Sat June 13, 2009 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 3 

 
PROS: works alright
CONS: tremors, dizziness

It doesn't work as well as I would like. I have to take 1200mg a day and the lab work gets ridiculous. Hasn't had much of an affect on me but it's alright

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sunnyday
Junior Member

Registered: May 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 16
Wed June 3, 2009 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: none
CONS: it made me hallucinate

Didn't work for me

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Topher
Grand Member

Registered: February 2005
Posts: 769
Mon March 30, 2009 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: Effective mood stbilizer for Bipolar I disorder.
CONS: Needs to be monitored for renal and thyroid complications. Minor side effects.

I resisted my Bipolar diagnosis for ten years resulting in multiple hospitalizations for major manic and depressed episodes. I had extreme poles when decompensated including psychotic mania and severe depressive episodes. The birth of my son motivated me to accept my diagnosis and become compliant with Lithium treatment maintaining a serum lithium at .7 mEq/l.I have been without a major manic or depressive episode for over 25 years now on lithium. I do have some side effects, mainly a slight hand tremor that I can control with concentration. I also have slight dry mouth that if not managed can cause halitosis. These minor side effects do not out weigh the benefits of having an otherwise normal life thanks to the efficacious and reliable simple salt that is lithium carbonate.

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Pers3phone
Newly Joined

Registered: November 2008
Sun November 2, 2008 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 4 

 
PROS: Fewer side effects, provides stability
CONS: Emotionally, makes me like a robot

I've taken lithium for over five years, after having two manic episodes altogether in a two year period of time. I had one manic episode during this five year period when I had the flu and stopped taking the pills. I go to work every day, pay my bills, and generally function fine. But I have cried maybe three times since I've been on lithium and I generally feel detached, like nothing matters one way or another. The only feeling I can muster is "kind of angry" about the effects of this drug. I realized that I have not been able to love anyone new in this time, so my relationships suffer. I have only been able to love those I already loved in a sort of logical way, like I remember loving them so I can act out of love. I haven't been able to really bond with my dog. I guess this is an acceptable side effect for a lot of people, compared to the devastation of untreated mania. I'm working with a doctor to kick lithium so I can see if the lifestyle changes I've made will keep me stable without robbing me of the ability to love and connect with other human beings. If it doesn't work, I guess I'll resign myself to a lifetime of lithium.

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doctorjake
Newly Joined

Registered: August 2008
Mon August 18, 2008 Recommended? No | Total Spent: $10.00| Rating: 2 

 
PROS: inexpensive
CONS: made me into a zombie

At first I liked this drug because it helped decrease my suicidal thoughts but now I hate it. I used to feel happy and sad a lot (goes with being bipolar huh?) but now all I feel is meh. I think I'd rather have the ups and downs.

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skittleburst14
Newly Joined

Registered: August 2008
Sun August 10, 2008 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: absolutely NONE for me
CONS: violent depression/suicidality that lasted for months

I have been diagnosed with ADHD, major depression, anorexia, bulimia, insomnia (no anxiety disorder, and I received an inappropriate bipolar dx). I took this a few years ago when I was about 23, and it was the absolute worst drug I have ever taken in my life (I've been on over 30 diff meds in 10 years). My mood tanked so quickly that I ended up laying in bed sobbing (about nothing, b/c literally nothing was wrong) for hours and hours... moved to the couch, and couldn't move off of it. Turning my head was depressing enough to make me cry. I couldn't be alone for one second. It was scary how violent that depression was. Even thinking about it makes me feel like I want to go back and sue that doctor for malpractice (who upon hearing this reaction, encouraged me to double the dose! And since I was too wacked-out to argue, I acquiesced and my parents had to take me to emergency room I became so suicidal. For the people who truly have bipolar, this drug could be a godsend, but if you do NOT or are unsure, be VERY careful with this one. I would never want anyone to go through the same hell I endured on this.

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hidenseek
New Member

Registered: July 2008
Posts: 1
Mon July 14, 2008 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 4 

 
PROS: made me more calm
CONS: memory bad confused and panicky,wiped out my thyroid,put on weight.

took myself off,when doctor told me the extreme tiredness was due to my thyroid being affected by the Lithium.Also I couldn't remember things and was confused whwn talking,much slower and fogetting words.This made me panic.

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alexbrooks09
Newly Joined

Registered: May 2008
Fri May 30, 2008 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 3 

 
PROS: helps with paranoia
CONS: it makes you tired, shakey, and decreases your attention span, apathy, loss of memory

I hate lithium...I can't tell if my problems are due to long term psych with drawls from Adderal, or side effects of lithium ... but I cant concentrate...I'm flunking my freshmen year in high school...I have no emotions hardly, and also emotional labilty..i drink lots of black tea and some coffee and i get really angry, irritated, and dramatic..before i wasnt on lithium and had caffeine it made me feel alert and kind of euphoric. Should I just stop taking it and throwing away my doses when my moms not looking?? Also how does lithium interact with seroquel?

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carbonmade
Newly Joined

Registered: May 2008
Location: Hopefully not where I currently am come winter...
Sun May 4, 2008 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: helped control extreme mood swings, decreased impulsivity (ie: manic shopping sprees, excessive drinking), decreased racing thoughts/fast-paced speech a bit
CONS: increased appetite, possible sexual side effects (though could be from another med i'm on)

have been diagnosed bipolar I and II so not sure which I am, however, i've never been so stable in my life as since i went on lithium in september 2007 when i was in inpatient treatment for my eating disorder among other things. i was there 3 months and my boyfriend said that after i came back i was like a different person. it helps control my mood swings and impulsivity and i'm told i act more adult/my age (24). it has really helped me stay sober actually as well. now i can function like a semi-normal human being (though not fully yet - it doesn't cure everything.) on 900mg/day and was afraid it would turn me into an emotionless zombie but it hasn't. if anything i'm feeling my feelings more, only expressing them in a more appropriate manner.

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biplr4me
Junior Member

Registered: July 2007
Location: Waukesha, WI
Posts: 8
Mon March 31, 2008 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 0 

 
PROS: Controls the highs and lows of my bi-polar
CONS: Heavy weight gain and crushes you're emotions

Please see my previous post update but this drug has been horrible for me. It took away all of my emotions and left me with a small amount of bitterness and anger, to help me get the strength to get off of it. The numerous side effects ,for me, are not worth the mood control. I also never expected a 35 lbs weight gain. I am trying to diet and it's not coming off! If lithium works for you hey stay on it but for me I need to find a more mental and body friendly med.

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LBear1947
New Member

Registered: March 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 5
Mon March 17, 2008 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $180.00| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: It stabilized me at a very low level.
CONS: The side affects are awful. Headaches bladder irritation sweating

At 150mg I was fine. Then 300mg the headaches and bladder irritation got very bad. Have suffered through this and can't go higher but I can't take the bladder irritation any more. I also take lamictal which never controlled the mania.

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LithiumLullabye
New Member

Registered: February 2008
Posts: 2
Mon February 18, 2008 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: no more nightmares, level mood, less agitation
CONS: some weight gain

Overall, pretty good. I can lead a much more normal life while on this med.

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75peanut
Newly Joined

Registered: January 2008
Sun January 20, 2008 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: cheap, works well with Lamictal
CONS: weight gain

I have been on both Lamictal and Lithium Carbonate now for a year now. Just getting over a cutting episode last week, first time during this past year that I have been on it. Overall I would recommend it.

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ehrhar
Member

Registered: December 2007
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 37
Wed January 16, 2008 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: Stable mood
CONS: Hand tremors

Lithium is also one of my favorite drugs. Though I hate the tremors I know that it is really working for me. I also hate the frequent blood level testing.

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runnergrrl
New Member

Registered: January 2008
Posts: 1
Fri January 4, 2008 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $10.00| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: Depression has lowered.
CONS: Numbness, poor cognitive function, poor memory, blood tests, inability to have hard workouts, lack of interest in life

I am on 900 mg. When I first started it (almost a year ago) I became very happy. But, as time wore on, I almost lost my job because I was forgetting things (I was doing well at my job prior to Lithium). I was running red lights and stopping at green ones. I also noticed a numb feeling. I pretty much do not care about people or life itself. I feel like I just exist. I have had suicidal thoughts. I have tried to get off Lithium, but I became even more severly depressed. My doctor has suggested Abilify, but I don't see any difference in side effects. I have been on almost every drug so my doctor is running out of ideas. Lithium is great, if you can bear with the fact that you will experience at least some of the side effects. I am bearing with it, for my mother.

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biplr4me
Junior Member

Registered: July 2007
Location: Waukesha, WI
Posts: 8
Thu December 20, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 6 

 
PROS: Helped calm my major mood swings and cycling
CONS: Kind of makes you feel flat

I was on it about 15yrs. ago and it didn't work then but as I have controled my Bi-Polar it seems to work very well with Lamactil, and some cymbalta which I may be going off of. I am looking to find out more about the caffine connection to Lithium. I am an ex-alcholic that went from booze to Coca-Cola as a fill in. If this is effecting me while using Lithium I'm open to any knowlege of this being a real problem. Otherwise execpt for the kind of flat feeling it works very well.*Update* This has taken all of my emotions and crushed them into oblivion. I don't feel anything but anger I can muster up because I feel like this. I am contacting my meds Dr. to get off this and on something else where I have feeling once more I think this is why I went off Lithium all those years ago. Good luck if it's working for you, but it's killing me emotionally and the 35 lbs. weight gain is not a help for my health.

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Barbarian
Newly Joined

Registered: November 2007
Fri November 30, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: Inexpensive; very effective mood stabilizer
CONS: You'll probably gain weight, but usually maxes out after a couple of months.

For the price, I recommend this drug over any other for mood stabilization. However, if you have the money then I'd invest in Lamictal for both mood stabilization and depression; moreover, I'd suggest combining this drug with another for anti-depressant properties (such as the HIGHLY recommended drug Lamictal -- especially for depression). You cannot lose with this wonderful combination of Lamictal and lithium for bipolar disorder.

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st0rmy
Junior Member

Registered: August 2007
Location: China + UK
Posts: 16
Thu October 11, 2007 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 2 

 
PROS: Haven't been on it long enough to know...
CONS: Over tired,irritable,no energy and dizzy spells

I am on prozac and doc gave lithium,convinced that I have Bipolar but I'm still not sure.Was that dizzy that hubby had to help me balance,could not lift my head from the pillows or even tolerate the lights.Hope no one got it as bad as me...

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102riley
New Member

Registered: October 2007
Location: Southeast Alabama
Posts: 3
Wed October 10, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $3.00| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: really controlled my mood swings and slowed me down
CONS: feel a little dopey, mostly headaches, GI, and nausea

I finally am on the lowest dose possible, 150 mg. I could not handle the major side effects I was experience. I even tried to go back up to 300 mg after some time on the very low dose, but the symptoms came right back. I would recommend this to any bi-polar patient; don't let the internet scare you or the side effects, they do lessen with time.

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bat7777
Newly Joined

Registered: September 2007
Fri September 21, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: cheap, few side effects for me
CONS: the stigma of a mood stabilizer, sometimes shakey hands

well, lithium might make some people into zombies... but i take 1350mg daily and i am not one. was diagnosed bi-plr-1 two years ago, and for most of that time have been on a mix of antidepressents, atypical antipsychotics, and benzos. all in all had remained mostly depressed or manic until lithium was put into the mix. was a bit ambivalent about starting a mood stabilizer - thought i would get fat, bald, and tired. none of the above occured. i feel better and would recommend some of you fellow nutjobs give it a go...

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ChrisM
Member

Registered: June 2007
Location: NY
Posts: 21
Wed June 20, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: This med seems to be the only one that has helped me so far!~~
CONS: I do feel a little dazed ( which could be cool) lol

I really think I should of been put on this med 2 years ago~! I am finally feeling a little better.

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dreamrunner
Veteran Member

Registered: May 2007
Posts: 340
Mon June 4, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: seems to help minimize suicidal/self harm thoughts
CONS: blood pressure up a little/doesnt help too much with depression/nausea

450mg daily dosage

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MOJO3
Member

Registered: May 2007
Location: Earth
Posts: 248
Thu May 31, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: Stopped manic behaviorisms...more balanced...still me...but better than the alternative....mostly manic always with little depression...hardly notice it at all if taken properly
CONS: blood test...blood test...low levels... trembling when started...adjustments to medication make you naseaus...taken for 5 years...rather be with than without. It is inexpensive.

Had to adjust the amount of salt in my diet, I increased it and lowered my caffine intake in order to adjust the level of lithium im my system...bottom dropped out at .3 needs to be at .9 to work for me...taking 900mg per day now...blood work...twice a year. It is working, I am still stable and working. I also take one asprin everyday because I have read that it increases the effects of lithium.

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Murren
Junior Member

Registered: May 2007
Location: Scotland
Posts: 7
Tue May 8, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: It works really well. Success since diagnosis 10 years ago.
CONS: Hardly any...avoid caffeine tho...I am certain that a high caffeine drink caused a relapse.

Has worked really well for me through major life events and remained stable for 10 years...but i do feel that problems with high caffeine drinks and lithium are under published.

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Psychotic_Phil
Veteran Member

Registered: February 2007
Location: Seattle WA USA
Posts: 303
Fri April 27, 2007 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 3 

 
PROS: Relieved some weird mood swings
CONS: Made me a zombie, had hand tremors

Lithium is ties with Abilify as the worst med ever. This horrifying piece of crap med is equivalent to having your brain chopped into little pieces, then taped back together. My opinion? Stay away from Lithium andd all mood stabilizers in general.

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savinmyself
New Member

Registered: April 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2
Fri April 20, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: helps to keep my mania's from being out of control
CONS: tremors in hands but it out ways positive affects

I guess when you have severe mania's and severe depressions another med has to be added i'm also on lexapro and the 2 combined have givin me a "normal" ground

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jattitude74
Member

Registered: March 2007
Posts: 124
Wed April 4, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $10.00| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: helped control my moods,
CONS: none so far, besides blood work, and more blood work!! hand tremors

1200 mg per day, moods aren't so dramatic, still have mood swings just not as bad, been taking for 3 mo. now we will see!!!! Dose was just increased to 1500mg/day. Blood levels have been closely monitored and doc says my mood swings should be going away.Waiting game again!!! Update---lowered dose back to 900mg because of hand tremors. Couldn't even write! Doing better now,added seroquel to the mix along with the lithium. All is good for now.

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