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Brand Names
Eskalith, Lithobid, Lithostat

Lithium Information

The flow of sodium impacts through nerve and muscle tissues within the human body. Sodium affects mania or excitation.Lithium is used to treat the manic episodes of manic depression. Manic symptoms include rushed speech, poor judgment, and reduced need for anger, aggression, and sleep. Lithium helps to stop or reduce the intensity of manic episodes.Lithium may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Used for treatment: Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Depression, Bipolar, Acute Manic episode

The exact mechanism of action of Li as a mood-stabilizing representative is now unknown. It is likely that Li produces its effects by interacting with the transport of monovalent or divalent cations in neurons. A growing number of scientists have arrived at the conclusion that the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate is the vital element in understanding how lithium works. Lithium has been shown to modify the inward and outward currents of glutamate receptors (especially GluR3), without a change in reversal potential. Lithium has been found to exert a dual effect on glutamate receptors, acting to maintain the sum of glutamate active between tissues at a secure, healthy degree, neither too much nor too little. It’s postulated that too much glutamate from the distance between neurons triggers mania, and also small, melancholy. Another mechanism by which lithium might help to modulate mood include the non-competitive inhibition of an enzyme known as inositol monophosphatase. Alternately lithium’s actions might be enhanced through the deactivation of this GSK-3B enzyme. The regulation of GSK-3B by lithium may change the circadian clock. GSK-3 is known for phosphorylating and thus inactivating glycogen synthase. GSK-3B has also been implicated in the control of cellular response to damaged DNA. GSK-3 normally phosphorylates beta catenin, which leads to beta catenin degratation. When GSK-3 is inhibited, beta catenin raises and transgenic mice with overexpression of beta catenin express similar behaviour to mice treated with lithium. These results suggest that increase of beta catenin might be a potential pathway to the therapeutic action of lithium.

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How to use lithium

Follow all instructions. Your doctor may change your dose to be certain you get the best outcomes. Do not use this medication in bigger or smaller amounts or for longer than advised. Don’t crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Measure liquid medicine with all the dosing syringe supplied, or using a unique dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup.

If you do not own a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist. Taking lithium might make it simpler for you to become dehydrated, particularly in the event that you have some vomiting or nausea, if you are outside in the sun, or if you exercise vigorously or sweat more than usual. Dehydration can increase some of the negative effects of lithium. Call your physician if you have are sick with a fever and vomiting or nausea, or whether you’re sweating more than usual.

While taking requirements, it is simple to become dehydrated. Do not change your dosage or medication schedule without your physician’s advice. Drink more fluids every day to prevent dehydration. It could take around 3 months until your symptoms improve. Keep using the medicine and tell your physician if your symptoms do not begin to improve after 1 week of treatment. Should you need surgery, inform the physician ahead of time which you are using lithium.

You might need blood tests while utilizing lithium. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not being used.

Side Effects

  • nausea
  • thirst
  • increased urination
  • fine hand tremor


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, , reduce the kidney’s ability and lead to elevated levels of lithium andside effects. Blood levels of lithium might need to be quantified for 4 to 7 days after an NSAID is either added or ceased during lithium treatment. Sulindac and aspirin don’t appear to influence lithium concentrations in the blood. Diuretics should be used carefully in patients receiving lithium. Diuretics that act at the distal renal tubule, , can increase blood concentrations of lithium.

, are more inclined to reduce blood levels of lithium. Diuretics such as furosemide and bumetanide might have no affect on lithium levels in blood. ACE inhibitors, , can raise the possibility of developing lithium toxicity by increasing the amount of lithium that is reabsorbed into the body at the kidney’s tubules and thus reducing the excretion of lithium. Some patients may experience side effects, such as lethargy, nausea, and tremor when lithium and carbamazepine are used together.

Central nervous system side effects also may occur when lithium is used with antidepressants, . Mixing lithium with monoamine oxidase inhibitor class of antidepressants or other medications that inhibit monoamine oxidase can create serious reactions. Medications that cause the urine to become alkaline can raise. This results in lower blood concentrations of lithium and reduces the effects of lithium.

Such drugs contain sodium bicarbonate, potassium citrate, potassium acetate, and sodium citrate. Caffeine seems to reduce serum lithium concentrations, and unwanted side effects of lithium have significantly grown in frequency when caffeine is consumed. Both verapamil and diltiazem have been reported to have effects on lithium levels in blood.

In some patients there may be decreased in and blood glucose others lithium toxicity. The odds of lithium toxicity may raise. When lithium is handled with phenothiazines, reactions have resulted, . Such responses have included seizures, delirium, encephalopathy, high fever or specific neurologic reactions which affect motion of muscles, called extrapyramidal symptoms. Lithium can lead to goiter or hypothyroidism.

Using lithium with potassium iodide can increase the probability of the adverse reaction. The usage of this beta blocker together with lithium ion can lead to a pulse and dizziness. Other beta blockers, also may interact with lithium and be connected with a slow heart rate.