Lithium carbonate

Questions | Reviews ***

Advice on Lithum Carbonate

I have been prescribed lithum for depression but am not bi-polar more of a uni-polar depressive Is lithium indicated in uni polar depression I am very lethargic when i awake in the mornings and am sure it is the lithum Can I discontinue the dose stat ...
by Eunice Cecil in united kingdom, 01/28/2009

lithium abuse

I live with pill poppers... and would love to know if there is the potential for ABUSE of lithium. I need to know if i need to keep my meds in my car.. or if i can leave them in the house. I guess what im asking is...can you get high off the abuse of ...
by lucas in denver, co USA, 02/11/2008

Decreasing lithium in bipolar daughter

my 17 yr old daughter has been treated for bipolar, ocd, add, anxiety for the last 2 yrs. we are trying to decrease her meds to see how she will be off everything.... t she has been decreasing for approx 2 weeks now from lithium 1350/day, seroquel 150...
by kimberly in usa, 06/04/2006

need moore every time lithium

Hello , i hope i can get help on this cuestion. when i did star taking lithium 150mg was very confution . no consentrtion at work very confuse but after a 3 month star workin perfet . an only last me 4 good month of medicine an now from 150 to 450 . m...
by Alvaro Soto in lake worth, fl, 09/22/2006

Can lithium therapy cause hyperthyroidism?

I am not bipolar. I was misdiagnosed as being bipolar because my father was severly manic-depressive. I suffered with panic disorder for 25 years. When I became a patient of a new psychiatrist 6 years ago, he diagnosed me as bipolar and began a lithiu...
by Edward Stampf Jr. in Greenwood, SC, 01/09/2006

Lithium carbonate
Lithium carbonate (Lithobid, Lithonate)
( LITH-ee-um)
Pregnancy Category: D Carbolith Duralith Eskalith Eskalith CR Lithane Lithobid Lithonate Lithotabs PMS-Lithium Carbonate (Rx)
Lithium citrate
Lithium citrate
( LITH-ee-um)
Pregnancy Category: D PMS-Lithium Citrate

Classification: Antipsychotic agent, miscellaneous

Action/Kinetics: Mechanism for the antimanic effect of lithium is unknown. Various hypotheses include: (a) a decrease in catecholamine neurotransmitter levels caused by lithium's effect on Na +-K + ATPase to improve transneuronal membrane transport of sodium ion; (b) a decrease in cyclic AMP levels caused by lithium which decreases sensitivity of hormonal-sensitive adenyl cyclase receptors; or (c) interference by lithium with lipid inositol metabolism ultimately leading to insensitivity of cells in the CNS to stimulation by inositol.
Affects the distribution of calcium, magnesium, and sodium ions and affects glucose metabolism. Peak serum levels (regular release): 1-4 hr; (slow-release): 4-6 hr. Onset: 5-14 days. Therapeutic serum levels: 0.4-1.0 mEq/L (must be carefully monitored because toxic effects may occur at these levels and significant toxic reactions occur at serum lithium levels of 2 mEq/L). t 1/2 (plasma): 24 hr (longer in presence of renal impairment and in the elderly). Lithium and sodium are excreted by the same mechanism in the proximal tubule. Thus, to reduce the danger of lithium intoxication, sodium intake must remain at normal levels.

Uses: Control of mania in manic-depressive clients. Investigational: To reverse neutropenia induced by cancer chemotherapy, in children with chronic neutropenia, and in AIDs clients receiving AZT. Prophylaxis of cluster headaches. Also for premenstrual tension, alcoholism accompanied by depression, tardive dyskinesia, bulimia, hyperthyroidism, excess ADH secretion, postpartum affective psychosis, corticosteroid-induced psychosis. Lithium succinate, in a topical form, has been used for the treatment of genital herpes and seborrheic dermatitis.

Contraindications: Cardiovascular or renal disease. Brain damage. Dehydration, sodium depletion, clients receiving diuretics. Lactation.

Special Concerns: Safety and efficacy have not been established for children less than 12 years of age. Use with caution in geriatric clients because lithium is more toxic to the CNS in these clients; also, geriatric clients are more likely to develop lithium-induced goiter and clinical hypothyroidism and are more likely to manifest excessive thirst and larger volumes of urine.

Side Effects: Due to initial therapy: Fine hand tremor, polyuria, thirst, transient and mild nausea, general discomfort. The following side effects are dependent on the serum level of lithium. CV: Arrhythmia, hypotension, peripheral circulatory collapse bradycardia, sinus node dysfunction with severe bradycardia causing syncope; reversible flattening, isoelectricity, or inversion of T waves. CNS: Blackout spells, epileptiform seizures, slurred speech, dizziness, vertigo, somnolence, psychomotor retardation, restlessness, sleepiness, confusion, stupor, coma, acute dystonia, startled response, hypertonicity, slowed intellectual functioning, hallucinations, poor memory, tics, cog wheel rigidity, tongue movements. Pseudotumor cerebri leading to increased intracranial pressure and papilledema; if undetected may cause enlargement of the blind spot, constriction of visual fields, and eventual blindness. Diffuse slowing of EEG; widening of frequency spectrum of EEG; disorganization of background rhythm of EEG. GI: Anorexia, N&V, diarrhea, dry mouth, gastritis, salivary gland swelling, abdominal pain, excessive salivation, flatulence, indigestion, incontinence of urine or feces, dysgeusia/taste distortion, salty taste, swollen lips, denal caries. Dermatologic: Drying and thinning of hair, anesthesia of skin, chronic folliculitis, xerosis cutis, alopecia, exacerbation of psoriasis, acne, angioedema. Neuromuscular: Tremor, muscle hyperirritability (fasciculations, twitching, clonic movements), ataxia, choreo-athetotic movements, hyperactive DTRs, polyarthralgia. GU: Albuminuria, oliguria, polyuria, glycosuria, decreased C CR, symptoms of nephrogenic diabetes, impotence/sexual dysfunction. Thyroid: Euthyroid goiter or hypothyroidism, including myxedema, accompanied by lower T 3 and T 4. Miscellaneous: Fatigue, lethargy, dehydration, weight loss, transient scotomata, tightness in chest, hypercalcemia, hyperparathyroidism, thirst, swollen painful joints, fever.
The following symptoms are unrelated to lithium dosage. Transient EEG and ECG changes, leukocytosis, headache, diffuse nontoxic goiter with or without hypothyroidism, transient hyperglycemia, generalized pruritus with or without rash, cutaneous ulcers, albuminuria, worsening of organic brain syndrome, excessive weight gain, edematous swelling of ankles or wrists, thirst or polyuria (may resemble diabetes mellitus), metallic taste, symptoms similar to Raynaud's phenomenon.

Laboratory Test Alterations: False + urinary glucose test (Benedict's), serum glucose, creatinine kinase. False - or serum PBI, uric acid; TSH, I 131 uptake; T 3, T4

Overdose Management: Symptoms: Symptoms dependent on serum lithium levels. Levels less than 2 mEq/L: N&V, diarrhea, muscle weakness, drowsiness, loss of coordination.
Levels of 2-3 mEq/L: Agitation, ataxia, blackouts, blurred vision, choreoathetoid movements, confusion, dysarthria, fasciculations, giddiness, hyperreflexia, hypertonia, agitation or manic-like behavior, myoclonic twitching or movement of entire limbs, slurred speech, tinnitus, urinary or fecal incontinence, vertigo.
Levels over 3 mEq/L: Complex clinical picture involving multiple organs and organ systems. Arrhythmias, coma hypotension, peripheral vascular collapse, seizures (focal and generalized) spasticity, stupor, twitching of muscle groups.
Treatment: Early symptoms are treated by decreasing the dose or stopping treatment for 24-48 hr: Use gastric lavage. Restore fluid and electrolyte balance (can use saline) and maintain kidney function. Increase lithium excretion by giving aminophylline, mannitol, or urea. Prevent infection. Maintain adequate respiration. Monitor thyroid function. Institute hemodialysis.

Drug Interactions: Acetazolamide / Lithium effect by renal excretion Bumetanide / Lithium toxicity R/T renal clearance Carbamazepine / Risk of lithium toxicity Diazepam / Risk of hypothermia Ethacrynic acid / Lithium toxicity R/T renal clearance Fluoxetine / Serum lithium levels Furosemide / Lithium toxicity R/T renal clearance Haloperidol / Risk of neurologic toxicity Iodide salts / Additive effect to cause hypothyroidism Mannitol / Lithium effect by renal excretion Mazindol / Chance of lithium toxicity R/T serum levels Methyldopa / Chance of neurotoxic effects with or without lithium serum levels Neuromuscular blocking agents / Lithium neuromuscular blockade severe respiratory depression and apnea NSAIDs / Lithium renal clearance, possibly R/T inhibition of renal prostaglandin synthesis Phenothiazines / Phenothiazine levels or lithium levels Phenytoin / Risk of lithium toxicity Probenecid / Risk of lithium toxicity R/T serum levels Sodium chloride / Excretion of lithium is proportional to amount of sodium chloride ingested; if client is on salt-free diet, may develop lithium toxicity since less lithium excreted Sympathomimetics / Drug pressor effects Theophyllines, including Aminophylline / Lithium effect R/T renal excretion Thiazide diuretics, triamterene / Risk of lithium toxicity R/T renal clearance Tricyclic antidepressants / TCA effects Urea / Lithium effect by renal excretion Urinary alkalinizers / Lithium effect by renal excretion Verapamil / Lithium levels and toxicity

How Supplied: Lithium carbonate: Capsule: 150 mg, 300 mg, 600 mg; Tablet: 300 mg; Tablet, Extended Release: 300 mg, 450 mg; Lithium citrate: Syrup: 300 mg/5 mL

?Capsules, Tablets, Extended-Release Tablets, Syrup Acute mania.
Adults: Individualized and according to lithium serum level (not to exceed 1.4 mEq/L) and clinical response. Usual initial: 300-600 mg t.i.d. or 600-900 mg b.i.d. of slow-release form; elderly and debilitated clients: 0.6-1.2 g/day in three doses. Maintenance: 300 mg t.i.d.-q.i.d.
Administration of drug is discontinued when lithium serum level exceeds 1.2 mEq/L and resumed 24 hr after it has fallen below that level.
To reverse neutropenia.
300-1,000 mg/day (to achieve serum levels of 0.5-1.0 mEq/L) for 7-10 days.
Prophylaxis of cluster headaches.
600-900 mg/day.

Lithium carbonate Ratings

Overall Rating:



(based on 4 reviews)



Ease of Use:


Overall Satisfaction:




Lithium carbonate

Effectiveness: *

Ease of Use: *

Overall Satisfaction: *


Jordan Dixon, sacramento, cal - 10/04/2008

I took Lithium Carbonate until my blood became toxic and I almost dies. When I first began taking the medication I was okay for several months, then the side effects began to kick in. I suffered with effect known to be associated with the medication, including pancreantics. I ended up hospitalized for over a month. I will never take this medication again and I have warned all my friends and family about it. There are other medicatins available to treat this disorder.

Lithium carbonate

Effectiveness: ****

Ease of Use: *****

Overall Satisfaction: ****


Tom, NORTON OHIO - 12/24/2007

My main issue has been depression. Since 2003, my physicians have been trying to get my depression under control. I can not believe it has been 7 years. I have been on a lot of different medications and have had every side effect imaginable including spontaneous orgasms, which is not as fun as you might think. At times the medical professionals had thought I was bipolar but I never had the symptoms of mania or hypomania. They tried to start me on Prozac and that did send me into hypomania. So three weeks ago, I checked myself into a hospital and got started on Lithium. Within the first few days I felt better. My mania symptoms were not the fun kind and usually resulted in me being irritable and snapping at others. I would cycle rapidly. So far my only side effects on the lithium are urinating much more than normal and an intense thirst, which is attributed to the sodium. I am very bloated too. I feel like I’m pregnant with this kind of bloating so I need to discuss this with my physician. I am anticipating that I may gain some weight from this medication so I am planning on starting an exercise program and healthy eating plan. My best piece of advice to those suffering from Bi-polar is to stay on your medications.