Factors that affect a person's lithium dosage include their response to the drug, the particular lithium product being used, and if other medical conditions are present. Ultimately, the dose will depend greatly on lithium blood levels, which is why regular testing is important. The lithium dosage is typically taken two to four times a day, and is available in several forms, including tablets, capsules, and syrup.
The dose of lithium (Eskalith®, Eskalith CR®, Lithobid®) that your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- How you respond to lithium
- The particular lithium product being used
- Other medical conditions you may have
- Other medications you may be currently taking.
As always, do not adjust your lithium dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
The recommended starting dose for acute mania is lithium 600 mg three times daily (for immediate-release lithium tablets, capsules, or syrup). For extended-release lithium tablets, the recommended starting dose is lithium 900 mg twice daily. Starting at such high lithium doses helps to produce an effective lithium blood level quickly (which is needed to control the severe symptoms of mania), although the risk of lithium side effects and lithium toxicity is also increased.