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Bipolar Disorder and Lithium

Written by sshowalter, FoundHealth.

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Lithium is a mood stabilizer that works on improving social interactions, mood, expression of mood, as well as, delusions, paranoia, and appearance.

It is thought that lithium can help other antidepressants work more effectively.

Effect of Lithium on Bipolar Disorder

the oldest and most effective mood stabilizer, often used as initial treatment for bipolar disorder. It helps prevent both manic and depressive episodes from returning.

Read more details about Lithium.

What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

• If you are 65 or older, use this medicine with caution. You could have more side effects.

• If you have kidney disease, talk with healthcare provider.

• If you have a weakened heart, talk with healthcare provider. Some of the medicines and diet used to treat a weakened heart may change the lithium blood level.

• Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix well with other medicines.

• You may not be alert. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities until you see how this medicine affects you.

• If you start on a low salt diet, tell healthcare provider. It will change the way your body handles the lithium.

• Avoid alcohol (includes wine, beer, and liquor).

• Limit caffeine (for example, tea, coffee, cola) and chocolate intake. Use with this medicine may cause nervousness, shakiness, and fast heartbeat.

• Be careful in hot weather. Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.

• Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking this medicine.

What are some possible side effects of this medicine?

• Feeling lightheaded, sleepy, having blurred vision, or a change in thinking clearly. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities that require you to be alert or have clear vision until you see how this medicine affects you.

• Shakiness.

• Headache.

• Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.

• Frequent urination.

Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

• If you suspect an overdose, call your local poison control center or emergency department immediately.

• Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.

• Severe dizziness.

• Significant change in balance.

• Significant change in thinking clearly and logically.

• Severe nausea or vomiting.

• Excessive perspiration or dehydration.

• Feeling extremely tired or weak.

• Any rash.

• No improvement in condition or feeling worse.

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