Lithium is a mood stabilizer.
It is used to treat conditions such as:
It can also be used to help with symptoms of low mood (depression).
It may be given to you for other reasons. Do check with your doctor what you are taking this for.
Potential side effects
All medicines may cause side effects. However, many people do not experience them.
Most of the side effects listed here will improve with time. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if they persist, become bothersome or worsen.
Serious side effects
If you experience signs of allergy such as rashes, swelling of lips/face/throat and difficulty breathing, stop the medicine immediately and seek medical attention.
You will need to have regular blood tests while you are on Lithium to monitor the level of this medicine in your body. If you experience symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, muscle weakness, muscle twitching, visual disturbances, confusion, increased drowsiness, a lack of coordination and tremors, seek medical attention immediately and inform them that you are taking Lithium.
Take note that the side effects listed here are not exhaustive. Do seek medical attention if you have other symptoms that you think may be related to this medicine.
What do I need to tell my doctor before I take this medicine?
This medicine may interact with a number of medicines. Inform your doctor if you are taking or intend to start taking other medicines or supplements.
Take this medicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the instructions on the medicine label or as advised by the pharmacist.
Take Lithium after food to minimize stomach upset. The controlled release tablet can be broken into half, but not crushed or chewed.
This medicine may not have an effect immediately. It may take a few weeks before this medicine can exert its full effect. Continue taking it regularly to benefit from it.
Do not stop taking this medicine even after you feel better. Your symptoms may return if this medicine is stopped too early. Check with your doctor on the duration of treatment that is suitable for you.
Do not stop taking this medicine abruptly or change the dose without consulting your doctor.
Avoid taking alcohol while you are on this medicine.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one at your usual timing.
Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
If you take more than the dose prescribed to you by your doctor, consult your doctor or health care professional immediately.
Throw away any unused or expired medicines. Consult your medical professional if you are unsure with respect to how to safely dispose of any excess medicines/expired medicines.
What are the things I need to know or look out for while on this medicine?
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