Uses for lithium carbonate

Lithium Carbonate Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing


This medication is used to treat manic-depressive disorder (bipolar disorder). It works to stabilize the mood and reduce extremes in behavior by restoring the balance of certain natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain.Some of the benefits of continued use of this medication include decreasing how often manic episodes occur and decreasing the symptoms of manic episodes such as exaggerated feelings of well-being, feelings that others wish to harm you, irritability, anxiousness, rapid/loud speech, and aggressive/hostile behaviors.

How to use lithium carbonate oral

There are different brands of this medication available. They may not have the same effects. Do not change brands without asking your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 2-3 times daily. Take lithium with or immediately after meals to lessen stomach upset. Do not crush or chew this medication. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split the tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.

Drink 8 to 12 glasses (8 ounces or 240 milliliters each) of water or other fluid each day, and eat a healthy diet with normal amounts of salt (sodium) as directed by your doctor or dietician while taking this medication. Large changes in the amount of salt in your diet may change your lithium blood levels. Do not change the amount of salt in your diet unless your doctor tells you to do so.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. The dosage is based on your medical condition, lithium blood levels, and response to treatment. This medication works best if the amount of the drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Take this drug at evenly spaced intervals.

This medication must be taken exactly as prescribed. Keep taking lithium even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this drug without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens. It may take 1 to 3 weeks to notice improvement in your condition.

Side Effects

See also Warning section.

Drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness, increased thirst, increased frequency of urination, weight gain, and mildly shaking hands (fine tremor) may occur. These should go away as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: diarrhea, vomiting, unsteady walk, confusion, trouble speaking, blurred vision, severe hand trembling (coarse tremor), vision changes (such as growing blind spot, vision loss), joint swelling/pain, pain/discoloration of finger/toes, cold hands/feet.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: severe dizziness, fainting, slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, seizures.

This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take (see Drug Interactions section). Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: swollen lymph nodes, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.


Before taking lithium, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart disease, kidney disease, urinary problems (such as difficulty urinating), underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), seizures, Parkinson's disease, leukemia, severe dehydration, any infection with high fever, a certain skin disorder (psoriasis).

Lithium treatment may rarely reveal an existing condition that affects the heart rhythm (Brugada syndrome). Brugada syndrome is an inherited, life-threatening heart problem that some people may have without knowing it. It can cause a serious (possibly fatal) abnormal heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath) that need medical attention right away. Brugada syndrome may cause death suddenly. Before starting lithium treatment, tell your doctor if you have any of the following risk factors: Brugada syndrome, unexplained fainting, family history of certain heart problems (Brugada syndrome, sudden unexplained death before 45 years old).

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

If heavy sweating or severe diarrhea occurs, check with your doctor right away how to best continue taking lithium. Take care in hot weather or during activities that cause you to sweat heavily such as during hot baths, saunas, or exercise.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using lithium. Lithium may harm an unborn baby. However, since untreated mental/mood problems (such as bipolar disorder) can harm a pregnant woman and her unborn baby, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. Instead, ask your doctor if a different medication would be right for you. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication.

Lithium passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Other medications can affect the removal of lithium from your body, which may affect how lithium works. Examples include ACE inhibitors (such as captopril, enalapril), ARBs (such as losartan, valsartan), NSAIDs (such as celecoxib, ibuprofen), "water pills" (diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide), other drugs for mental/mood conditions (such as chlorpromazine, haloperidol, thiothixene), among others. Your doctor may need to adjust your dose of lithium if you are on these medications.

The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin. Some examples are street drugs such as MDMA/"ecstasy," St. John's wort, certain antidepressants (such as SSRIs like fluoxetine/paroxetine, SNRIs like duloxetine/venlafaxine), among others. The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity may be more likely when you start or increase the dose of these drugs.

Eat a normal diet with an average amount of sodium. Consult your doctor or dietician for more details.

Does lithium carbonate oral interact with other drugs you are taking?

Enter your medication into the WebMD interaction checker


If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: diarrhea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, blurred vision, trouble walking, unusual drowsiness, seizures, shaking, loss of consciousness.

Do not share this medication with others.

Lab and/or medical tests (such as kidney/thyroid function, lithium and calcium blood levels) should be done while you are taking this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless your next scheduled dose is within 6 hours. In that case, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

Lithium: medicine to control mood disorders such as mania and bipolar disorder

1. About lithium

Lithium is a type of medicine known as a mood stabiliser.

It's used to treat mood disorders such as:

  • mania (feeling highly excited, overactive or distracted)
  • hypo-mania (similar to mania, but less severe)
  • regular periods of depression, where treatment with other medicines has not worked
  • bipolar disorder, where your mood changes between feeling very high (mania) and very low (depression)

Lithium can also help reduce aggressive or self-harming behaviour.

It comes as regular tablets or slow-release tablets (lithium carbonate). It also comes as a liquid that you swallow (lithium citrate).

Lithium is available on prescription.

2. Key facts

  • The most common side effects of lithium are feeling or being sick, diarrhoea, a dry mouth and a metallic taste in the mouth.
  • Your doctor will carry out regular blood tests to check how much lithium is in your blood. The results will be recorded in your lithium record book.
  • Lithium carbonate is available as regular tablets and modified release (brand names include Priadel, Camcolit and Liskonium).
  • Lithium citrate comes as a liquid and common brands include Priadel and Li-Liquid.

3. Who can and cannot take lithium

Lithium can be taken by adults and children over the age of 12 years.

Lithium may not be suitable for some people. Tell your doctor if:

  • you have ever had an allergic reaction to lithium or other medicines in the past
  • you have heart disease
  • you have severe kidney problems
  • have an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) that is not being treated
  • you have low levels of sodium in your body – this can happen if you're dehydrated or if you're on a low-sodium (low-salt) diet
  • you have Addison's disease, a rare disorder of the adrenal glands
  • you have, or someone in your family has, a rare condition called Brugada syndrome – a condition that affects your heart
  • you need to have surgery in hospital
  • you are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant or breastfeeding

Before prescribing lithium, your doctor will do some blood tests to check your kidney and thyroid are OK. The doctor will also check your weight (and check this throughout your treatment).

If you have a heart condition, the doctor may also do a test that measures the electrical activity of your heart (electrocardiogram).

4. How and when to take lithium

It's important to take lithium as recommended by your doctor.

There are 2 different types of lithium – lithium carbonate and lithium citrate. It's important not to change to a different type unless your doctor has recommended it. This is because different types are absorbed differently in the body.

Lithium carbonate comes as regular tablets and slow-release tablets – where the medicine is released slowly over time.

Lithium citrate comes as a liquid. This is usually only prescribed for people who have trouble swallowing tablets .

Doses vary from person to person. Your starting dose will depend on your age, what you're being treated for and the type of lithium your doctor recommends.

If you have kidney problems your doctor will monitor the level of lithium in your blood even more closely and change your dose if necessary.

You will usually take your lithium once a day, at night. This is because when you have your regular blood test, you need to have it 12 hours after taking your medicine. You can choose when you take your lithium – just try to keep to the same time every day.

How to take it

Swallow tablets whole with a drink of water or juice. Do not chew them. You can take lithium with or without food.

If you're taking liquid, use the plastic syringe or spoon that comes with your medicine to measure the correct dose. If you do not have one, ask your pharmacist. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as you will not get the right amount.

Information about your lithium treatment

When you start taking lithium, you will get a lithium treatment pack (usually a purple folder or book) with a record booklet. You need to show your record booklet every time you see your doctor, go to hospital, or collect your prescription.

When you go to the doctor for blood tests, you or your doctor will write in the record booklet:

  • your dose of lithium
  • your lithium blood levels
  • any other blood test results
  • your weight

The treatment pack also has a lithium alert card. You'll need to carry this card with you all the time. It tells healthcare professionals that you're taking lithium. This can be useful for them to know in an emergency.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you've lost your treatment pack or did not get one.

Will my dose go up or down?

When you start your treatment you'll need to have a blood test every week to make sure the level of lithium in your blood is not too high or too low. Your doctor may change your dose depending on the results of your blood test.

Once the doctor is happy you'll have a blood test every 3 to 6 months to check the level remains steady.

Once you find a dose that suits you, it will usually stay the same – unless your condition changes, or your doctor prescribes another medicine that may interfere with lithium.


Do not stop taking lithium suddenly or change your dose without speaking to your doctor first. It's important you keep taking it, even if you feel better. If you stop taking it suddenly you could become unwell again very quickly.

What if I'm ill while taking lithium?

Infections and illnesses like colds and flu can make you dehydrated, this can affect the level of lithium in your blood.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you:

  • have an illness that causes severe diarrhoea, vomiting, a high temperature or sweating
  • have a urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • are not eating and drinking much

What if I forget to take it?

If you usually take:

  • tablets or slow-release tablets – if it's less than 6 hours since you were supposed to take your lithium, take it as soon as you remember. If it is more than 6 hours, just skip the missed dose and take your next one at the usual time
  • liquid – if you forget to take a dose, just skip the missed dose and take your next one at the usual time

Never take 2 doses at the same time. Never take an extra dose to make up for a forgotten one.

If you forget doses often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to help you remember to take your medicine.

What if I take too much?

Immediate action required: Call 999 or go to A&E if:

  • you take too much lithium, even if you do not feel any different

This is because very high amounts of lithium can cause problems with your kidneys and other organs. It can cause symptoms such as:

  • feeling or being sick
  • problems with your eyesight (blurred vision)
  • increased need to pee, lack of control over pee or poo
  • feeling faint, lightheaded or sleepy
  • confusion and blackouts
  • shaking or muscle weakness, muscle twitches, jerks or spasms affecting the face, tongue, eyes or neck

If you need to go to A&E, take the lithium packet or the leaflet inside it, plus any remaining medicine, with you.

5. Side effects

If you're on the right dose and the level of lithium in your blood is right, you may not have any problems taking this medicine.

However, some people find lithium slows down their thinking or makes them feel a bit "numb".

Common side effects

These are usually mild and go away by themselves. They are more likely to happen when you start taking lithium.

Keep taking the medicine but talk to your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side effects get worse or do not go away after a few days:

  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • diarrhoea
  • a dry mouth and/or a metallic taste in the mouth
  • feeling thirsty and needing to drink more and pee more than usual
  • slight shaking of the hands (mild tremor)
  • feeling tired or sleepy
  • weight gain (this is likely to be very gradual)

Serious side effects:

The level of lithium in your blood is checked regularly. But rarely, you may get side effects because there's too much lithium in your blood.

Immediate action required: Call 999 or go to A&E now if:

You have 1 or more of these symptoms:

  • loss of appetite, feeling or being sick (vomiting)
  • problems with your eyesight (blurred vision)
  • feeling very thirsty, needing to pee more than normal, and lack of control over pee or poo
  • feeling lightheaded or drowsy
  • confusion and blackouts
  • shaking, muscle weakness, muscle twitches, jerks or spasms affecting the face, tongue, eyes or neck
  • difficulty speaking

These are signs of lithium toxicity. Lithium toxicity is an emergency. Stop taking lithium straight away.

How to avoid high lithium levels in your blood

Make sure that you go for the blood tests arranged by your doctor.

It's important not to reduce your salt intake suddenly. Talk to your doctor if you want to reduce the amount of salt in your diet.

Drink plenty of fluids, especially if you are doing intense exercise or in hot weather when you will sweat more.

Drinking alcohol causes your body to lose water. It's best not to drink too much as it's likely to make you dehydrated, especially in hot weather when you will sweat more.

Always tell any doctor or pharmacist that you are taking lithium before you take any new medicines.

Serious allergic reaction:

In rare cases, lithium may cause a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).

Immediate action required: Call 999 or go to A&E if:

  • you get a skin rash that may include itchy, red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
  • you're wheezing
  • you get tightness in the chest or throat
  • you have trouble breathing or talking
  • your mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat start swelling

You could be having a serious allergic reaction and may need immediate treatment in hospital.

These are not all the side effects of lithium. For a full list, see the leaflet inside your medicine packet.

You can report any suspected side effect to the UK safety scheme.

6. How to cope with side effects

What to do about:

  • feeling or being sick – take lithium with or after a meal or snack. It may also help if you do not eat rich or spicy food. If you are being sick, take sips of water to avoid dehydration.
  • diarrhoea – drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Signs of dehydration include peeing less than usual or having dark, strong-smelling pee. Do not take any other medicines to treat diarrhoea without speaking to a pharmacist or doctor.
  • a dry mouth and/or a metallic taste in the mouth – try sugar-free gum or sweets, or sipping cold drinks. If this does not help, talk to your pharmacist or doctor. Try not to have drinks with a lot of calories in as this might also mean you put on weight.
  • slight shaking of the hands (mild tremor) – talk to your doctor if this is bothering you or does not go away after a few days. These symptoms can be a sign that the dose is too high for you. Your doctor may change your dose or recommend taking your medicine at a different time of day.
  • feeling tired or sleepy – as your body gets used to lithium, these side effects should wear off. If these symptoms do not get better within a week or two, your doctor may either reduce your dose or increase it more slowly. If that does not work you may need to switch to a different medicine.
  • weight gain – try to eat well without increasing your portion sizes so you do not gain too much weight. Regular exercise will help to keep your weight stable and help you feel better.

7. Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Lithium and pregnancy

Lithium is not usually recommended in pregnancy, especially during the first 12 weeks (first trimester) where the risk of problems to the baby is highest. However, you may need to take lithium during pregnancy to remain well. Your doctor may advise you to take it in pregnancy if the benefits of the medicine outweigh the risks.

If you become pregnant while taking lithium, speak to your doctor. It could be dangerous to you and your unborn baby if you stop taking it suddenly. Do not stop taking it or make any change to your dose unless your doctor tells you to.

Talk to your doctor before taking this medicine if you plan to get pregnant, or think you may be pregnant. Your doctor can explain the risks and the benefits and will help you decide which treatment is best for you and your baby.

Lithium and breastfeeding

If your doctor or health visitor says your baby is healthy, you can take lithium while breastfeeding.

Lithium passes into breast milk in small amounts. However, it has been linked with side effects in very few breastfed babies.

It's important to continue taking lithium to keep you well. Breastfeeding will also benefit both you and your baby.

If you notice that your baby is not feeding as well as usual, or seems unusually sleepy, or if you have any other concerns about your baby, talk to your health visitor or doctor as soon as possible.

Non-urgent advice: Talk to your doctor if you:

  • are trying to get pregnant
  • are already pregnant
  • would like to breastfeed

For more information about how lithium can affect you and your baby during pregnancy, read this leaflet on the Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy (BUMPS) website.


Cautions with other medicines

This are some medicines that may interfere with how lithium works and this can affect the levels of lithium in your blood.

Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you're taking (or before you start taking):

  • tablets that make you pee (diuretics) such as furosemide or bendroflumethiazide
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – used for pain relief and swelling such as aspirin, ibuprofen, celecoxib or diclofenac
  • medicines used for heart problems or high blood pressure such as enalapril, lisinopril or ramipril (ACE inhibitors)
  • some medicines used for depression such as fluvoxamine, paroxetine or fluoxetine
  • antibiotics such as oxytetracycline, metronidazole, co-trimoxazole, trimethoprim
  • medicines for epilepsy such as carbamazepine or phenytoin

These are not all the medicines that can affect the way lithium works. Always check with your doctor before you start or stop taking any medicine.

Mixing lithium with herbal remedies or supplements

It's not possible to say whether complementary medicines and herbal supplements are safe to take with lithium.

They're not tested in the same way as pharmacy and prescription medicines. They're generally not tested for the effect they have on other medicines.


For safety, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you're taking any other medicines, including herbal remedies, vitamins or supplements.

9. Common questions

How does lithium work?

Lithium is a metal. Tiny amounts of lithium are found naturally in rocks, and in our food and bodies.

We do not really know exactly how lithium works for mental health conditions, though we do know it's very effective.

There are a number theories about how it works. One is that it works by protecting and helping to create neurons (the cells that pass messages in your brain).

How long does it take to work?

Lithium may take several weeks or months to work.

How will it make me feel?

If the amount of lithium in your blood is right, you probably will not have any problems taking this medicine.

However, some people find it slows down their thinking or makes them feel a bit "numb". Sometimes it's hard to know whether this is because the lithium is doing its work to control your mood (if you have mania).

Talk to your doctor if you're worried that lithium is slowing down your thinking or numbing your emotions. You may need to have your lithium levels checked again.

How long will I take it for?

As long as it is working well to control your condition, you will generally take lithium for a long time.

Some people need to take lithium for many years.

What will happen if I stop taking it?

If you or your doctor decide to stop lithium, it must be reduced gradually over a number of weeks or months. If you stop taking it suddenly the symptoms of your condition are likely to come back.

Do not stop taking lithium suddenly even if you feel better, or because you think the dose is too little or too much.

Your doctor will help you to reduce your medicine and stop completely, if you need to.

However, if you think you have lithium toxicity, or are having an allergic reaction, it's important to stop taking lithium straight away and get medical help.

Immediate action required: Call 999 or go to A&E now (and stop taking lithium) if:

  • you’re having an allergic reaction
  • you have lithium toxicity
Can I take lithium for a long time?

Lithium is generally safe to take for a long time. Most people take it for years with no problems.

If you've been taking lithium for some time, it can cause weight gain. It can also cause problems with your kidneys or thyroid gland.

Common signs of an underactive thyroid are tiredness, weight gain and feeling depressed. Signs of kidney problems include swollen hands or ankles, feeling tired and short of breath, changes in your pee and feeling sick. Tell your doctor if you get any these symptoms. Your doctor will test your thyroid and kidneys every 6 months to check for any changes.

If you find you're putting on weight after taking lithium for a while, try to have a healthy balanced diet. Regular exercise will also help you keep your weight stable. Your doctor will usually monitor your weight while you're taking this medicine.

Your doctor may discuss topping up levels of the hormone that the thyroid gland normally produces (thyroxine) with a tablet.

Is lithium an antipsychotic?

Lithium is not an antipsychotic medicine, it's known as a mood stabiliser. However, your doctor might prescribe an antipsychotic medicine with lithium.

How well does lithium treat depression?

Usually, if you have depression, you'll be prescribed an antidepressant medicine first as they are considered more effective for depression than lithium.

However, when antidepressants have not worked, your doctor might prescribe lithium as well. This may be more effective and help your symptoms get better.

Can I drink alcohol with it?

Lithium can make you drowsy so it's best to stop drinking alcohol during the first few days of taking lithium, or if your dose is increased.

If you feel OK after this, you can drink alcohol but it's best not to drink too much it's likely to make you dehydrated. This can increase the chance of high levels of lithium in your blood. It's important to remember this, especially in hot weather when you will sweat more and your body loses water.

Will it affect my contraception?

Lithium does not affect contraception including the combined pill or emergency contraception.

However, if you have severe diarrhoea for more than 24 hours, your combined pill may not protect you from pregnancy. Look on the pill packet to find out what to do.

Read more about what to do if you're on the pill and you have diarrhoea

Will it affect my fertility?

There is no clear evidence that lithium affects female fertility. However, there is small chance that it can reduce sperm count in men.

Speak to your doctor if you're trying for a baby.

Is there any food or drink I need to avoid?

You can eat and drink normally while taking lithium.

However, it's best to avoid a low-sodium (low-salt) diet as this can increase the levels of lithium in your blood and increase the chance of getting side effects.

The amount of fluids you drink is very important as it can affect the levels of lithium in your blood. Getting dehydrated will affect the levels so it's good to drink plenty of fluids.

Some people may put on weight when taking lithium. Try to eat well without increasing your portion sizes. Regular exercise can also help to keep your weight stable.

Can I drive or ride a bike?

When you first start taking lithium – or if the dose has recently been changed – it may make you feel tired, dizzy, sleepy and make your hands shake.

This could affect you if you drive a car, ride a bike, or do anything else that needs focus.

You're recommended to stop doing these things for the first few days, until you know how lithium affects you and until you feel more alert.

If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder you must tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Can I take lithium with recreational drugs?

Using recreational drugs can affect the level of lithium in the body.

Taking ecstasy while you're on lithium can make you dehydrated, which can lead to lithium toxicity.

Tell your doctor if you think you may take recreational drugs while you're on lithium.

Reagent Application and Instructions for Use

Lithium carbonate or lithium carbonate is a salt obtained during the inorganic compound, the reaction between the alkali metal lithium and carbonic acid. Today, this reagent is in high demand in various industries, including the medical industry. In the medical field, lithium carbonate is included in the list of the most necessary drugs, without which it is impossible to carry out medical procedures.

Properties of lithium carbonate

The physical properties of lithium carbonate in its state of aggregation characterize the substance as a powder without color or pronounced odor. Such a reagent is characterized by good solubility in cold water; in hot water, the dissolution of the reagent occurs many times worse. Lithium carbonate melts and decomposes at high temperatures, over 1310°C.

When heated to the melting point, lithium carbonate is unstable and begins to decompose. Decomposition also occurs when interacting with dilute acids. When reacting with more active metals, lithium carbonate is displaced from the salt. nine0003

Lithium carbonate is obtained from oxides (the reaction occurs when heated above 500 ° C) or from alkalis. It is also possible to obtain a substance by exchange reactions.

Storage and transport precautions

Lithium carbonate has not been assigned any hazard class. Despite this, the substance can harm a person if used, stored or transported carelessly. When interacting with a chemical reagent, it is important to avoid getting the powder on mucous membranes, clothing and exposed skin. It is important to use personal protective equipment to minimize injury and to work in areas with an adequate ventilation system. nine0003

Lithium carbonate is stored in dry warehouses, away from acids. The substance is stored in a production container with a hermetically sealed lid.

Lithium carbonate application

The uses of lithium carbonate and what the chemical is used for in each of them is not limited to one or two areas of activity. The reagent has found wide application in almost all areas, including:

  1. Industrial production of batteries and complexes aimed at energy storage. Thanks to new technological processes in the processing of the product, lithium carbonate is used in the production of lithium batteries in the aerospace industry.
  2. Pharmaceutical industry in which the reagent is listed as a must. The use of lithium carbonate in medicine is mainly localized in the treatment of mental disorders. Indications for the use of lithium carbonate are bipolar disorder, depression and other disorders. nine0024
  3. Manufacture of lubricating solutions and materials used to increase the productivity and service life of equipment, mechanisms, tools.
  4. Manufacture of substances for air filtration and purification.
  5. Aluminum industry, where lithium carbonate is the main raw material for metal production at the raw material smelting stage.
  6. Obtaining dense and easily processed glass.
  7. Ceramic industry where lithium carbonate is used in every step of the firing process. Strengthening color, density and wear resistance is what it, lithium carbonate, is needed for in the ceramic industry. nine0024
  8. Aerospace industry in which a chemical is used to make skins for ships made for spacewalks.
  9. Automotive industry, where the chemical is an integral part of the production of smart cars.
  10. Construction industry where lithium carbonate is added to cement slurries to quickly dry the finished product.
  11. The unique properties of lithium carbonate make it possible to increase the initial properties of manufactured materials and contribute to the speedy recovery of patients taking medications containing this chemical. nine0024

Description of LITHIUM CARBONATE indications, dosages, contraindications of the active substance LITHIUM CARBONATE


US accepted

drug interaction nine0054

Included in preparations: list

Pharmacological action

Normothymic agent (normalizes mental state without causing general lethargy). It also has antidepressant, sedative and antimanic effects. The effect is due to lithium ions, which, being antagonists of sodium ions, displace them from cells and thereby reduce the bioelectrical activity of brain neurons. Accelerates the breakdown of biogenic amines (the concentration of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain tissues decreases). Increases the sensitivity of neurons in the hippocampus and other areas of the brain to the action of dopamine. Interacts with lipids formed during the metabolism of inositol. nine0003

At therapeutic concentrations, it blocks the activity of inosyl 1 -phosphatase and reduces the concentration of neuronal inositol, which is involved in the regulation of neuronal sensitivity.

The beneficial effect of lithium in migraine may be due to changes in platelet serotonin and histamine concentrations. The antidepressant effect may be associated with an increase in serotonergic activity and a decrease in the regulation of the function of β-adrenergic receptors.


When taken orally, it is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. C max of the active substance in plasma is reached after approximately 9 hours. Does not bind to plasma proteins. Penetrates through the placental barrier, excreted in breast milk. Not metabolized.

Excreted by the kidneys - 95%, with feces - less than 1%, with sweating - 4-5%.

Indications of the active substance LITHIUM CARBONATE nine0005

Manic and hypomanic states of various origins, prevention and treatment of affective psychoses, prevention and treatment of affective disorders in patients with chronic alcoholism. Migraine, Meniere's syndrome, sexual disorders, drug addiction.

Open list of ICD-10 codes

F10 Mental and behavioral disorders due to alcohol use
F11. 2 Mental and behavioral disorders caused by the use of opioids - addiction syndrome
F13.2 Mental and behavioral disorders caused by the use of sedatives and hypnotics - addiction syndrome
F15.2 Mental and behavioral disorders caused by the use of other stimulants - dependence syndrome
F25 Schizoaffective disorders
F30 Manic Episode
F31 Bipolar affective disorder
F32 Depressive episode
F34 Persistent mood disorders [affective disorders]
G43 Migraine
H81. 0 Meniere's disease

Dosing regimen

The dose is determined by the level of lithium concentration in blood plasma. Taken inside. For adults, the dose is 300-600 mg 3-4 times / day. The therapeutic concentration of lithium in plasma is 0.6-1 mmol / l. nine0003

For children under 12 years old - 15-20 mg 2-3 times a day.

The maximum daily dose of for adults when taken orally is 2.4 g. .

From the side of the cardiovascular system: cardiac arrhythmias. nine0003

From the digestive system: dyspepsia.

From the endocrine system: rarely - thyroid dysfunction.

Others: increased thirst, impaired hematopoiesis, leukocytosis, weight gain.

Contraindications for use

Leukemia, severe surgery, pregnancy, lactation.

Use during pregnancy and lactation

Contraindicated for use during pregnancy and lactation (breastfeeding). nine0003

Use in impaired renal function

Use with caution in renal failure.

Use in children

Long-acting dosage forms should not be used in children under 12 years of age.

Use in elderly patients

Elderly patients require dosage adjustment.

Special instructions

Use with caution in cardiovascular diseases (including AV blockade, intraventricular blockade), CNS diseases (including epilepsy, parkinsonism, organic lesions, schizophrenia), severe dehydration, infectious diseases, urinary retention, renal failure, as well as diabetes mellitus, hyperparathyroidism, thyrotoxicosis, psoriasis, in debilitated patients and hyponatremia of any etiology. nine0003

Elderly and debilitated patients require dosage adjustment.

Nausea and vomiting, early signs of lithium toxicity, may be masked by the antiemetic effect of some phenothiazines.

During the first month of therapy, plasma lithium levels should be monitored weekly. When a stable concentration is reached, the control is carried out monthly, then 1 time in 2-3 months.

Do not drink alcohol during treatment. nine0003

Long-acting dosage forms should not be used in children under 12 years of age, do not alternate with other dosage forms.

Influence on the ability to drive vehicles and mechanisms

During the period of treatment, care should be taken when driving vehicles and engaging in other potentially hazardous activities that require increased attention and speed of psychomotor reactions.

Drug interactions

With simultaneous use with thiazide diuretics, indapamide, a rapid increase in the concentration of lithium in the blood plasma and the development of toxic effects are possible.

With simultaneous use with ACE inhibitors, an increase in the concentration of lithium in the blood plasma and the development of toxic effects are possible; with NSAIDs - it is possible to increase the toxic effects of lithium; with iodine preparations - an increase in the risk of thyroid dysfunction is possible; with xanthine derivatives - it is possible to increase the excretion of lithium in the urine, which can lead to a decrease in its effectiveness. nine0003

With simultaneous use with alprazolam, a clinically significant increase in the concentration of lithium in the blood plasma is possible; with acyclovir - a case of increased toxic effect of lithium is described; with baclofen - cases of increased hyperkinetic symptoms in patients with Huntington's chorea are described.

With the simultaneous use of lithium carbonate with verapamil, drug interactions are unpredictable. With the simultaneous use of lithium carbonate with diltiazem, a case of psychosis has been described. nine0003

Co-administration with haloperidol may increase extrapyramidal symptoms; with carbamazepine, clonazepam - neurotoxicity may develop.

With simultaneous use with methyldopa, the development of the toxic effect of lithium is possible; with metronidazole - it is possible to increase the concentration of lithium in the blood plasma.

When used simultaneously with sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, high sodium intake enhances lithium excretion, which may lead to a decrease in its effectiveness.

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