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Lithium Drug Side Effects

Lithium (Eskalith®, Eskalith CR®, Lithobid®) is a prescription medication often used for the treatment of bipolar disorder. More specifically, it is approved to treat manic episodes.
In general, lithium drug side effects are signs of lithium toxicity. In most cases, your healthcare provider will do a blood test to check the level of lithium in your blood. If your lithium level is appropriate and your side effects are not too bothersome, no action may be necessary. If your lithium level is too high, or if your side effects are dangerous or intolerable, your lithium dosage may need to be reduced.
In general, the following side effects may be signs of mild to moderate lithium toxicity:
  • Mild shakiness, especially in the hands
  • Thirst
  • Increased or frequent urination
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Coordination problems.
(Click Lithium Side Effects for a list of more severe symptoms of toxicity and to find out which lithium side effects are not related to lithium toxicity.)
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