Lithium helps moderate the flow of sodium to the nerve cells and muscle cells in the body. Lithium helps to stabilize the moods of an individual.
Lithium is used to decrease the scale and incidence of manic episodes in individuals suffering from mood disorders.
It is the most common treatment for bipolar disorder. It reduces over excitation during the manic cycle of the disorder.
It is also proven to reduce the risk of suicide amongst people with depression and other mood disorders.
Lithium was also found to be useful in those diagnosed with manic depression. The medication was helpful in reducing the manic symptoms associated with the disorder. It lowered the hyperactivity, poor decision making and aggression in sufferers.
Contact your physician for an extended list of what benefits Lithium may provide.
Always follow the prescription that your doctor has provided you with. Do not take Lithium in smaller or larger doses than you have been instructed. Do not stop taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
This medication is to be taken orally.
The total recommended dosage for Lithium is 1800 mg for adults. This is usually prescribed as two doses of 900 mg, taken once in the morning and then again in the evening. This medication may also be taken in three doses of 600 mg – once in the morning, afternoon, and then evening.
For children between the age of 6 and 12, the total dose may vary between 15 and 60 mg of Lithium. This is spread across three or four doses within the day.
If you missed a dose, take 900 mg or 600 mg of Lithium as soon as you remember. If your next dose is due soon, refrain from taking the missed dose and take the scheduled dose instead. Do not combine the two doses together.
In case of Lithium overdose, contact your emergency services.
You may experience certain side effects while taking Lithium. The less common side effects experienced with this medications were:
Trouble with memory
Loss of consciousness
Irregular heartbeat or pulse
Increase in thirst
Increase in the number of times you urinate
Increase in weight
Rigidity in limbs
The symptoms that were rarely experienced with Lithium were:
Discomfort in the extremities
Bluish discoloration seen in limbs
Problems or pain associated with vision
Sounds in ear
Chill in limbs
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your physician immediately.
Lithium is not recommended for pregnant women. If you have become pregnant and have prescribed Lithium, inform your physician immediately. Lithium can also be transferred to a baby through breast milk. Inform your doctor if you are planning on breastfeeding your baby.
Do not take Lithium if you are taking antidepressants or other SSRIs. Lithium increases the levels of serotonin in the brain and may increase the chance of serotonin toxicity in the body. Medications containing MAO inhibitors may also cause a similar interaction with Lithium.
Inform your doctor if you are taking medication for high blood pressure. Drugs that contain ACE inhibitors may raise the levels of Lithium in the body.
Inform your physician of any medications or herbal supplements that you may be taking before you are prescribed with Lithium. There may be negative interactions between the medications.