It treats mania. Do not take more or less of it. Testing is especially important if you’re just starting the medication or if your doctor is changing the dose. To help keep the amount constant, do not miss any doses and do not stop taking the medicine even if you feel better. Jonathan Ritter, PharmD, PhD (Pharmacology), Vitamin D for Fitness, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Health. Joe Cohen won the genetic lottery of bad genes. We believe that the most accurate information is found directly in the scientific source. Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use lithium only for the indication prescribed. 7-Up … Nausea during initiation is common but usually subsides with continued administration. The results are given in units of mmol/L (or sometimes mEq/L). Certain liquid formulations use lithium citrate, which is also available in very low doses over the counter . If you have bipolar disorder, your doctor will target a very specific lithium blood level. It’s theoretically unlikely that normal doses of lithium orotate cause these same toxicities, but more research is needed on orotic acid salts in general. In individuals in recovery for alcoholism, lithium may reduce cravings for the drink. Avoid alcohol. Contact your doctor if you become ill or have an infection as your dosage of lithium may need to be altered or temporarily discontinued. But if you are "normal" Lithium would do nothing. Find out which of your labs are not in the optimal range and how to get them there so that you can keep your immune system in top shape with Lab Test Analyzer! If you're prescribed lithium, stick to the prescribed dose and do not stop taking it … Lithium is a common medicine used to help calm mood for treating people with mental disorders. Speak to your doctor about how drug interactions should be managed. The test could pick up high blood levels, but your cellular levels could still be normal . Ideally, you should undergo a blood draw right before the next scheduled dose, 6-12 hours after your last dose . A 51-year-old member asked: Hello doctors, what does lithium do to your body? For those people she recommends supplementing at very low levels, gradually increasing, as needed. Doctors will rarely check levels in people who aren’t taking lithium and there is not much scientific research on the subject . In the UK, lithium is the main medicine used to treat bipolar disorder. 1 But when you do drink more, you will also urinate more. Lithium is a long-term treatment for episodes of mania and depression. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Someone without enough lithium will feel much better on it, probably also needing potassium. The therapeutic level of lithium is usually between 0.8 and 1.0 mmol/L, though some people may need a level anywhere from 0.5 to 1.2 mmol/L to be therapeutic. Lithium compounds, also known as lithium salts, are primarily used as a psychiatric medication. Your doctor won’t check your levels if you’re not taking lithium medication, unless he or she suspects you’ve been exposed to too much lithium in your environment. Lithium may affect your mental alertness or make you drowsy. For a complete list of all side effects, click here. Suicidal depression and mood swings relieved within the week. Lithium works by enhancing sodium access within individual cells throughout the brain and body. Optimize Your Lab Results to Strengthen Your Immune System! Research about the lithium naturally found in the body (endogenous lithium) is limited. Kidney damage due to lithium may include acute (sudden) or Experts are not sure exactly how lithium works but believe it alters sodium transport in nerve and muscle cells which adjusts the metabolism of neurotransmitters within the cell. Work with your doctor to find the dosage which is right for you! Learn more about the occurrence and uses of lithium. No, although a person feels much better when he or she takes lithium ,does not warrant in any way that this person has a bipolar disorder . Kidney damage due to lithium may include acute (sudden) or People who take lithium should check in with their doctor frequently to monitor the lithium levels in their blood. Lithium's neuroprotective benefits discourage brain shrinkage, thus reducing your risk of age-related diseases. Younger adults and children often require lower doses to achieve desirable lithium levels . In this article, we focused on lithium as a prescription drug, which is usually in the form of lithium carbonate. A reduction in manic symptoms should be noticed within one to three weeks. In these disorders, it reduces the risk of suicide. Take Home Message. Seek urgent medical advice. Do not drive until you know how lithium will affect you. Routine checks of kidney and endocrine (hormone) function are recommended. Lithium may be a barrier to joy, but it keeps desperation at bay. Similarly, another study found a link between lower lithium levels in drinking water and higher all-cause mortality in 18 neighboring Japanese municipalities with a total of over 1.2 million people . Do not crush or chew extended-release tablets; swallow whole. Seek urgent medical attention if symptoms similar to diabetes (such as excessive thirst or excessive urine production) occur. is a clickable link to peer-reviewed scientific studies. Revision date: December 28, 2019. It's usually prescribed for at least 6 months. It may also help relieve or prevent bipolar depression. This is usually only prescribed for people who have trouble swallowing tablets . Despite its long history of use, there is no universally agreed upon optimal lithium blood level for bipolar treatment. The normal temperature of a normal healthy person 37C, or 98.6F. Today it doesn't have lithium in it; they stopped this after 1950. That said, properly monitored, lithium can be safe as well as effective in controlling moods. Check out our lithium orotate article to learn more about the pros and cons of this supplement. Suicidal depression and mood swings relieved within the week. Important Information. But when lithium was added to hiPS cells generated from lithium-responsive patients, it rectified, and CRMP2 activity was returned to normal. Lithium is completely absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract with peak levels occurring 0.25 to 3 hours after oral administration of immediate-release preparations and two to six hours after sustained-release preparations. But when lithium does work, it is a wonderful thing. This is called therapeutic drug monitoring. It’s also used in maintenance therapy, as long-term medication to prevent or reduce recurrent depressive or manic episodes. Dosing and target lithium levels need to be adjusted. The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records. Though not widely known to the general public, many experts in the scientific community understand that lithium is a nutrient that we need for optimal health. Our science team must pass long technical science tests, difficult logical reasoning and reading comprehension tests. Copyright 1996-2020 Drugs.com. Lithium is taken orally. Learn more about Lithium (Lithobid) at EverydayHealth.com. Studies suggest that lithium orotate may be better at penetrating into the brain, but data about its effectiveness and safety are limited [17, 18, 19, 20]. Information is shared for educational purposes only. Those that can decrease blood lithium include : Drugs that can increase levels of blood lithium include [24, 25, 26]: If you’re taking prescription lithium, you’ll need to undergo regular lithium blood levels checks. Doses vary from person to person. His goal is to motivate individuals to find ways to manage their chronic conditions. Too much caffeine may decrease the amount of lithium in your body. Common medications that may interact with lithium include: Avoid drinking alcohol or taking illegal or recreational drugs while taking lithium. Depression is a common condition affecting one in ten Americans at some point in their lives according to some estimates.. Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances. Do not change the amount of salt you consume in your diet. High levels of lithium in the blood can cause side effects and lead to toxicity . Lithium also helps prevent future manic and depressive episodes. A little too much and you may face serious side effects. Since such disorders need lifelong treatment, long-term use of lithium may be harmful to organs, such as the kidneys. Lithium belongs to the class of medications known as mood stabilizers. Lithium may also cause irregular heartbeat, drying and thinning of hair, alopecia, dry mouth, weight gain, itchiness, and other side effects. Weight gain happens even without lithium for a lot of people. All in all, this leaves us in the dark as to what a normal range for the general population should be . Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to lithium: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of … However, side effects can happen even if your levels are normal . To this day, lithium is one of the few medications proven to … Mathew is a licensed pharmacist with clinical experience in oncology, infectious disease, and diabetes management. How is that possible? Lithium may be used to treat manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder; however, there is a fine line between too much and too little and ongoing monitoring is needed to prevent lithium toxicity. Since the 1960s, lithium has been the gold standard, treating the range of bipolar symptoms more fully than any other medication in use today. In summary, lithium is associated with an increased risk of kidney disease, which usually shows up as a slowly increasing creatinine (why we do regular labs in all of our patients). Some considered it an essential micronutrient because it’s beneficial for overall health [2, 3, 4]. Not recommended for children aged less than 12. Lithium, chemical element of Group 1 (Ia) in the periodic table, the alkali metal group, lightest of the solid elements. Studies show that lithium can significantly reduce suicide risk. Lithium is usually taken two to three times daily with food. This “normal level” of lithium (better known as the “therapeutic level“) should provide symptom relief while minimizing side effects . Lithium may cause problems with kidney health. Some people can have nausea from lithium. The metal itself—which is soft, white, and lustrous—and several of its alloys and compounds are produced on an industrial scale. People who have recurring depressions alternating with periods of normal mood are considered to have recurrent unipolar depression. If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include: Notes: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. Lithium is no exception – it is most widely used for the treatment of bipolar disorder. And perhaps most importantly, it’s […] For this reason, a lower lithium level is targeted in seniors . The range of effects of lithium in pregnancy have not been fully determined so experts recommend women avoid lithium, particularly in the first trimester. If the person responds to the drug without showing signs of toxicity, then the lithium is likely within the normal range. SelfHacked © 2013 – 2020 All Rights Reserved. Lithium toxicity can occur if a person takes too much of a lithium-containing medication. But that doesn't mean you're a freak or weird or abnormal. If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please leave a comment or contact us at [email protected]. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. So, that problem can be avoided as well: carry plain old water with you wherever you go, and do not use soft drinks except as a rare treat (which is how most people ought to use them, whether taking lithium or not, so you’re not really depriving yourself here, just being smart like the average person … Lithium helps reduce the severity and frequency of mania. It is a very difficult medication to take.