Lithium is used to treat some mental health problems such as bipolar disorder. It is also sometimes used for other conditions.
Take lithium regularly as directed with food and a glass of water.
The controlled release (CR) tablets can be halved, but do not crush or chew them.
Take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time.
Some medicines available without a prescription may react with lithium including:
Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. St John's wort) or recreational drugs (e.g. ecstasy).
|Side Effects||Recommended action|
Symptoms of too much lithium, including: severe tremor or twitching, unsteadiness, dizziness, drowsiness, muscle weakness, slurred speech, confusion, blurred vision, diarrhoea, vomiting
|Stop taking and see your doctor immediately|
Fast or irregular heartbeat, fainting
Headache, changes in vision, pounding in one or both ears (may be intracranial hypertension)
|Tell your doctor immediately|
Tremor, numbness or tingling of the fingers or toes
Peeing more often, feeling thirsty
|Tell your doctor|
Changes in taste, dry mouth, change of appetite, weight gain
Swollen feet or legs
Hair loss or thinning, acne
|Tell your doctor if troublesome|
If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.
This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.
Prepared by the MyMedicines Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha, New Zealand. March 2023
For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?
Te Reo Māori information sheets supported by Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand
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My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.
For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?
My Medicines is developed by a team at Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed