GENERIC NAME: lithium
BRAND NAME: Lithobid
DISCONTINUED BRANDS: Eskalith, Eskalith CR
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
- Lithium is used for treating manic episodes due to bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness).
- It also is combined with antidepressants to treat depression.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects that can occur in persons taking lithium are:
- Fine hand tremor
- Dry mouth
- Altered taste perception
- Decreased memory
- Muscle weakness
- Weight gain
- Increased thirst
- Increased frequency of urination
- Mild nausea or vomiting
- Decreased libido
- Kidney abnormalities
Many of the gastrointestinal side effects (nausea, taste alterations, diarrhea) often disappear with continued therapy. Additionally, they may be less common if lithium is taken in divided doses with meals. If diarrhea or excessive urination lead to dehydration, lithium toxicity is possible. Lithium also can cause changes in the electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG), low blood pressure, and decreased heart rate.
Quick GuideBipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Testing for Bipolar Depression
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.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.