lithium - oral, Eskalith (cont.)
USES: This medication is used to treat manic-depressive disorder (bipolar disorder). It works to stabilize the mood and reduce extremes in behavior by restoring the balance of certain natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain.Some of the benefits of continued use of this medication include decreasing how often manic episodes occur and decreasing the symptoms of manic episodes such as exaggerated feelings of well-being, feelings that others wish to harm you, irritability, anxiousness, rapid/loud speech, and aggressive/hostile behaviors.
HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth, usually 3-4 daily or as directed by your doctor. Take lithium with or immediately after meals to lessen stomach upset. Drink 8 to 12 glasses (8 ounces or 240 milliliters each) of water or other fluid each day, and maintain a healthy diet with normal amounts of salt (sodium) as directed by your doctor or dietician while taking this medication. Large changes in the amount of salt in your diet may change your lithium blood levels. Do not change the amount of salt in your diet unless your doctor tells you to do so.Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. Dosage is based on your medical condition, lithium blood levels, and response to treatment. This medication works best if the amount of the drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals.This medication must be taken exactly as prescribed. Continue taking lithium even if your symptoms are improved. Do not stop taking this drug suddenly without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may worsen if the medication is suddenly stopped.Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens. It may take 1 to 3 weeks to notice improvement in your condition.
SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.Drowsiness, 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.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: diarrhea, vomiting, fever, dizziness, unsteady walk, confusion, slurred speech, blurred vision, severe hand trembling (coarse tremor).Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: vision changes (e.g., 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 rare but very serious side effects occur: severe dizziness, fainting, slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, seizures.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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