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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Eskalith, Lithobid

Generic Name: lithium (Pronunciation: LITH ee um)

What is lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid)?

Lithium affects the flow of sodium through nerve and muscle cells in the body. Sodium affects excitation or mania.

Lithium is used to treat the manic episodes of manic depression. Manic symptoms include hyperactivity, rushed speech, poor judgment, reduced need for sleep, aggression, and anger. Lithium also helps to prevent or lessen the intensity of manic episodes.

Lithium may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Eskalith CR 450 mg

round, yellow, imprinted with SKF J10

Lithium 150 mg-ROX

white, imprinted with 54 213

Lithium 300 mg ER-BAR

round, white, imprinted with 345, b

Lithium 300 mg SR-ROX

round, beige, imprinted with 54 107

Lithium 300 mg tab-ROX

round, white, imprinted with 54 452

Lithium 300 mg-ROX

pink, imprinted with 54 463

Lithium 450 mg SR-ROX

round, white, imprinted with 54 346

Lithium 600 mg-ROX

pink/white, imprinted with 54 702

Lithobid 300 mg

round, pink, imprinted with SOLVAY 4492

Lithonate 300 mg

pink, imprinted with SOLVAY, 7512

What are the possible side effects of lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking lithium and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • extreme thirst, urinating more or less than usual;
  • weakness, fever, feeling restless or confused, eye pain and vision problems;
  • restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;
  • pain, cold feeling, or discoloration in your fingers or toes;
  • feeling light-headed, fainting, slow heart rate;
  • hallucinations, seizure (blackout or convulsions);
  • fever with muscle stiffness, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats; or
  • early signs of lithium toxicity, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, muscle weakness, tremor, lack of coordination, blurred vision, or ringing in your ears.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild tremor of the hands;
  • weakness, lack of coordination;
  • mild nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain or upset;
  • thinning or drying of the hair; or
  • itching skin.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid)?

Call your doctor at once if you have any early signs of lithium toxicity, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, muscle weakness, tremor, lack of coordination, blurred vision, or ringing in your ears.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow the pill whole.

Drink extra fluids to keep from getting dehydrated while you are taking lithium. Tell your doctor if you have been sweating excessively, or if you are sick with fever, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. Follow your doctor's instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink. In some cases, drinking too much liquid can be as unsafe as not drinking enough.

Lithium can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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