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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 Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.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.


 

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Reviews
 
deebonetti
Newly Joined

Registered: February 2007
Location: woodtsock ny
Mon February 12, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: My fathher said this is the best drug to use if u have bipolar disorder, its not gonna chaneg ur personality its gonna balance it....
CONS: You have to drink alot of water , and i hheard if u use ithe drug to long u can have health risks but that only rare cases

i think its the best and only drug to use if u have bipolar disoder..my father swears by it . its doenst change ur personlity it balances it ..it dont make u feel like a fuicking zombie..like alot of the otehr meds do.

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crazymusiclvr
Member

Registered: January 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 97
Sun December 3, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: A life saver. I've been stable on it for 3 years now
CONS: possible weight gain

Lithium has helped me control my bipolar disorder. It has helped control the mania and the depression. It's inexpensive. I know people who've been taking it for 20 years.

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Yoda
who reads this, anyway?

Registered: October 2006
Location: Appalachia
Posts: 8571
Mon October 30, 2006 Recommended? No | Total Spent: $1.00| Rating: 2 

 
PROS: inexpensive
CONS: Got lithium toxic when doctor did not monitor blood levels; side effects did not mention severe itching

I was taking 300 mg/day and had few blood levels drawn. After being unable to sleep at all for 5 days/nights and severe vomiting/diarrhea I was admitted to a hospital where my lithium level was 2.9 (norm = 0.5-1)

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Meta
Member

Registered: July 2006
Posts: 277
Sat October 14, 2006 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 4 

 
PROS: perhaps evened out my moods
CONS: very tired, sluggish, hair loss, weight gain

Would not recommend for mild bipolar==I think I have mild bipolar disease--unlike others in my family who have more severe mood swings--not sure if its best when disease is mild. I think I have only been hypomanic and side effects are as bad if not worse than the mood swings

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WeepinChild
Newly Joined

Registered: October 2006
Fri October 13, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 6 

 
PROS: It has evened out my life internally
CONS: it doesn't control the outside world

I have been on Effexor for so long, only due to a new doctor was i diagnosed bipolar. I feel lost a little deeper in my own world cause i have had to do this on my own all along with no one who understands only try to help. But i found this site...so i'm hoping it's a good thing.

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Sun September 24, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: helped pull me out of a deep depression & increased my energy & enthusiasm for life quickly
CONS: impaired kidney function (had to get off it due to that), hair loss, weight gain

Due to impaired kidney function on lithium, I had to discontinue it. It definitely lifted my depression (bipolar I)& increased my enthusiasm for life.

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JudyNky
New Member

Registered: September 2006
Posts: 1
Sat September 23, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: Just started taking last month. Has helped some
CONS: get crying spells for no reason,but not as many

Just found out I was bipolar last month. I had a week of very severe lows.Couldn't get out of bed. Was put on Lithium.Was already on a drug called Lamictal, which is also a mood stablizer. But, have been battling depression for 20 years. I am just wondering if I have been bipolar all along. I really think I have. I am gald to join all of you. Been looking for people to talk to.

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darkeyes
Elder

Registered: May 2001
Location: US
Posts: 6683
Fri September 15, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: Excellent medication for Bipolar disorder. Is non-drowsy,and daily functioning is possible.It has worked miracles for my brother,family members and so many other people I have met. Has the longest track record,than other meds being used as mood stabilizer
CONS: I can't think of any negatives,except having bloodwork 3 times a yrs. If titrated properly any begining side effects will diminsh for many. All medications can have side effects.

I highly suggest Lithium for anyone DXed with Bipolar-I,even Bipolar-II,it really helps tremendously.

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eskielover
just me wantng to be free

Registered: October 2004
Location: Kentucky, USA
Posts: 11418
Thu September 14, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 2 

 
PROS:
CONS: shaking hands & shaky body

This med was tried on my during a hospitalization. After taking it, my hands started shaking so bad that I couldn't hold a glass of water without dropping it. The shaky feeling was throughout my body. It was only given to me one time & stopped immediately. I think that for me, it was an inappropriate medication for the depression that I was dealing with which is why I had such an intense reaction.

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bigdog1263
Member

Registered: September 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 23
Tue September 12, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: has had the biggest impact in my treatment
CONS: none

only drawback is constant labs & posisbility for liver damage

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DaveyJones
Grand Member

Registered: September 2005
Location: Big Orange Country
Posts: 886
Fri September 8, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: works great, inexpensive, minimal side effects
CONS: none

Still the best mood stabilizer there is...it has had such a positive impact on my life!

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