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Lithium is used for mania (abnormally elevated mood) and bipolar disoder.

How it works

Lithium works by suppressing the abnormal and excessive activity of the nerve cells in the brain.

Common side effects

Vomiting, Nausea, Excessive thirst, Frequent urge to urinate, Confusion, Decreased libido, Decreased memory, Diarrhoea, Dry mouth, Altered taste, Fine hand tremor, Headache, Impotence, Muscle weakness, Renal abnormalities, Tongue hyperpigmentation, Skin hyperpigmentation, Weight gain


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Expert advice

  • Do not start lithium and consult your doctor if you have kidney or heart problems,  have infection, feel sick, have been sick or have diarrhea.
  • Tell your doctor if you get the thoughts of killing yourself.
  • Lithium is not recommended in children below 12 years of age.
  • You should take effective contraceptive measures while on lithium treatment.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machineries while on lithium treatment, as it can cause drowsiness and can slow your reactions.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q.Can I take lithium for depression, anxiety?
Lithium can be taken to treat depression and anxiety. Do consult your doctor before use

Q.What can I take with lithium for a headache or pain?
Acetaminophen or aspirin can be taken with lithium for headache or pain. Do consult your doctor before use

Q.Can I take lithium with ibuprofen, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Benadryl?
Lithium when taken with ibuprofen, fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft) or Benadryl can lead to increased side effects. Do consult your doctor before use

Q.Does lithium cause weight gain, acne, constipation, make you tired or make you high?
Lithium can cause weight gain, acne, constipation, make you tired. Lithium does not make you high.

Content on this page was last updated on 06 December, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)