Lithium Carbonate (Lithium Carbonate)

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What is Lithium Carbonate (Lithium Carbonate) prescribed for?

Bipolar disorder is a very serious mental disorder and can cause risky behaviour, and even have suicidal tendencies. It brings about severe high and low moods and changes in sleep, energy,thinking, and behaviour. However it can be treated through therapy and medication.

This medication is used to treat a manic-depressive disorder known as bipolar.  The medicine works by stabilizing the mood and reduces extreme behaviours in restoring the balance of the neurotransmitters within the brain.

A decrease in how many manic episodes that may occur, and a decrease in exaggerated feelings of well being, feelings that others wish to harm you, irritability, anxiousness, rapid and loud speech, and aggressive and hostile behaviours are some of the benefits you will gain if you continue to take this medication.

This medication is to be taken by mouth, usually 2 to 3 times a day. You should take this medication with or immediately after meals to lessen the chance of an upset stomach.  Do not crush or chew on the tablet. Doing so will release the drug all at once, and therefore increase the risk of any side effects.

Take this medication as directly prescribed to you.  It is important to continue taking this medication, even if you are feeling well. Some conditions may worsen if the medication is suddenly put to a stop. Do not cease in taking this medication unless directed to by your doctor. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or worsens. Keep in mind that it may take 1 to 3 weeks to notice any improvements within your condition.

Before taking this medication, it is best to advise your doctor if you are allergic to Lithium Carbonate; or to any other medications or allergies in general.

Also it is best to notify your doctor of your medical history. Inform you doctor if you have had any of the following; heart disease, kidney disease, urinary problems (such as difficulty urinating), underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), seizures, Parkinson's disease, leukemia, severe dehydration (severe loss of body water), any infection with high fever, a certain skin disorder (psoriasis).

Lithium treatment may rarely reveal an existing condition that affects the heart rhythm (Brugada syndrome). Brugada syndrome is an inherited, life-threatening heart problem that some people may have without knowing it. It can cause a serious (possibly fatal) abnormal heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath) that need medical attention right away. Brugada syndrome may cause death suddenly. Before starting lithium treatment, tell your doctor if you have any of the following risk factors: Brugada syndrome, unexplained fainting, family history of certain heart problems (Brugada syndrome, sudden unexplained death before 45 years old).

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

If heavy sweating or severe diarrhea occurs, check with your doctor right away how to best continue taking lithium. Take care in hot weather or during activities that cause you to sweat heavily such as during hot baths, saunas, or exercise.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness, increased thirst, increased frequency of urination, weight gain, and mildly shaking hands (fine tremor) may occur. These should go away as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

This medication may cause some serious side effects. Inform you doctor if you are experiencing any of the following; diarrhea, vomiting, unsteady walk, confusion, slurred speech, blurred vision, severe hand trembling (coarse tremor), vision changes (such as growing blind spot, vision loss), joint swelling/pain, pain/discoloration of finger/toes, cold hands/feet.

Get Medical Help right away if any of these side effects begin to affect you, they are as follows; severe dizziness, fainting, slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, seizures.

This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take (see Drug Interactions section). Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.

 A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.

 

 What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.

 

 What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.

 

 What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.

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