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Lithium Carbonate

Lithium Carbonate

Overview

Lithium Carbonate is an antimanic agent used to treat Manic-Depressive Disorder (Bipolar Disorder). This medication may also be used to prevent cluster headaches. It may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Lithium smoothes out the highs (manic) and lows (depression) in bipolar patients by restoring the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain. It is sometimes referred to as a mood stabilizer.

Using this medication continuously may help to reduce the frequency of manic episodes. It also may decrease manic episode symptoms, including anxiousness, aggressive or hostile behaviors, feelings that others wish to harm you, exaggerated feelings of well-being, irritability, or rapid/loud speech.

How to Take It

Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. Take this medicine with food. 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.

Side Effects

Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include:

  • mild thirst
  • frequent urination
  • fine hand tremor
  • drowsiness
  • weight gain
  • lightheadedness

Drug Interactions

Before taking any new medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. This includes supplements and herbal products. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking medicines that contain ibuprofen (Motrin) or naproxen (Naprosyn).

Dosage & Missed Dose

Use this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more or less of it. Lithium should be taken at the same time every day. It is available in tablet, capsule, extended-release tablet. Dosage varies depending on the condition. The tablets, capsules, and liquid forms of Lithium are usually taken 3-4 times daily. The extended-release tablets are typically taken 2-3 times daily.

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 Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.

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