Lithium salts (brand names include: Eskalith / Eskalith-Cr / Lithane / Lithobid / Lithonate / Lithotabsare) are used for the treatment of mania and hypomania, recurrent bipolar depression and prophylactic treatment of recurrent affective disorders.
Lithium carbonate provides a source of lithium ions, which compete with sodium ions at various sites in the body.
Lithium is used to even out the highs (mania) and lows (depression) in mood associated with of bipolar disorder. In some cases, Lithium is used to treat people with depression even though they have never experienced a manic episode. Many of these patients have not responded adequately to antidepressants alone, so the addition of Lithium to an antidepressant is tried for some people.
Lithium has also been used to treat people with schizophrenia in cases where changes in thinking happen at the same time as a mood change that looks like either mania or depression.
Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. Take Lithium exactly as directed.
Your doctor will tell you how many tablets you need to take each day. The dose will vary depending on the condition being treated.
Lithium tablets are normally taken as a single daily dose, in the morning or on retiring. Alternatively, the dose may be divided and given morning and evening.
During treatment with Lithium, you should try to ensure a constant diet and fluid intake. This will help maintain a stable salt and water balance. This applies particularly in hot weather and during periods of illness.
The amount of Lithium in the blood can be measured. Studies have generally shown that blood levels between 0.6-1.2 (mmol/L) give patients the best chance of response to Lithium. In the beginning of treatment, your doctor may check your blood once or twice a week. Once your symptoms are controlled well, blood samples are drawn less frequently.
Do not take Lithium, if:
you have problems passing urine or have an impairment of kidney function;
you have an impairment of heart function;
you have Addison's disease or untreated hypothyroidism;
you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Active ingredient: lithium carbonate.