This medicine contains as active ingredient lithiumsalt, a psychoactive medicine that influences the activity of the brain. It is effective in reducing the intensity and frequency of the episodic swings from extreme excitement to deep depression that are characteristic of manic-depressive psychosis.
The major effect of the drug is normalization of mood and behavior in bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder. It is also useful in the treatment of alcohol toxicity and addiction. Some doctors prescribe the medicine for the treatment of schizoid personality disorders.
The drug is prescribed for:
• Manic-depressive disorder
• Bipolar disorder
• Schizoid personality disorder
Before using this medicine
Before you use this medicine check with your doctor:
• if you ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to lithium.
• if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant while using this medicine. Decide with your doctor if the drug benefits justify the risk to the unborn child.
• if you are breast-feeding an infant. The drug passes into the breast milk. Avoid the drug or discontinue nursing until you finish the medicine.
• if you have long-term liver or kidney problems.
• if you have heart or circulation problems.
• if you have myasthenia gravis.
This medication is used to relieve or prevent the symptoms of your medical problem affecting your brain function.
Usual dosage:The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regime. Most people respond to 1000- 1800 milligrams a day at first in 2 or 3 divided doses. Once the person has responded, daily lithium dosage is reduced to the lowest effective level, usually 300 mg 3-4 times a day.
Tablet or capsule:swallow with liquid or food to lessen stomach irritation. Drink 2 to 3 quarts liquid per day, especially in hot weather.
Syrup:take at mealtime; follow with 8 oz. water.
Children:not recommended in children younger than 12 years.
Prolonged use:the patient may develop enlarged thyroid. Talk to your doctor about the need for follow-up medical examinations or laboratory studies to check lithium levels, kidney and thyroid function, complete blood counts.
Along with the needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Side effects may include:
Nausea and vomiting
Shakiness and tremor
Decreased sexual ability
Swollen hands or feet
Symptoms of overdose are:
Stupor and coma
• Call a doctor. Apply, if necessary, cardiac massage and mouth-to-mouth breathing.
• Lithium’s effect may be increased by methyldopa, fluoxetine and other
selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, carbamazepine, thiazide and loop diuretics, ACE inhibitors, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
• Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications (also over-the-counter drugs) you are currently taking.
Driving or Hazardous Work
Do not drive until you learn how the medicine affects you. Do not work around dangerous machinery. Do not climb ladders or work in high places. Danger increases if you drink alcohol or take medicines affecting alertness and reflexes.
Store the medicine at room temperature in tightly closed, light-resistant containers. Keep out of the reach of children since overdose may be especially dangerous in children.