Lithium Carbonate

Generic Name: Lithium Carbonate (LITH-ee-um)

Drug Class: Antimanic

Contents

Drug Uses

This medicine is an antimanic agent used to treat manic-depression. It may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

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 health care provider.

How it Works

Lithium smoothes out the highs (manic) and lows (depression) in bipolar patients. It is some time referred to as a mood stabilizer.

How to Take It

Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. Take this medicine with food or milk. Drinking extra Fluids (8 to 10 glasses of water or other liquid) while you are taking this medicine is recommended. Check with your healthcare provider for more instructions. Do NOT change the amount of salt in your diet unless you have talked with your doctor.

Possible Side Effects

    • Side effects include:
      • mild thirst
      • frequent urination
      • drowsiness
      • fine hand tremor
      • or mild nausea

    • Check with your doctor AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you experience diarrhea, vomiting, unsteadiness, difficulty walking, or unusual muscle weakness.


    • If you experience other bothersome side effects, contact your health care provider.

Warnings/Precautions

    • Several days to weeks may pass before you feel the full benefit of this medicine. Do not stop taking this medicine without checking with your doctor.


    • Alcoholic beverages can increase the effects of this medicine and should be avoided.


    • Use caution in hot weather. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid getting overheated


    • Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to this medicine.


    • AVOID large amounts of caffeine-containing foods and beverages, such as coffee, tea, cocoa, cola drinks, and chocolate.

Overdose

    • Seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

    • Before you begin taking any new medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist.


    • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking medicines that contain ibuprofen (Motrin) or naproxen (Naprosyn).

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.

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 (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.

Pregnancy/Nursing

This medicine has been shown to CAUSE HARM to the human fetus. If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medicine during pregnancy. This medicine is excreted in breast milk. It is advised that you DO NOT breast-feed while taking this medicine unless you have talked to your doctor or pediatrician.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider.

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 May 2015
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.