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Lithium Indications

Lithium (Eskalith®, Eskalith CR®, Lithobid®) is a prescription drug approved for the treatment of bipolar disorder. Specifically, it is approved to treat manic episodes (but not depressive episodes). It is also approved as a "maintenance treatment," which is a long-term treatment to help prevent episodes of mania or depression.
Occasionally, healthcare providers may also recommend lithium for something other than bipolar disorder. This is called an "off-label" use. Examples of off-label lithium uses include the treatment of:
  • Agitation that is not associated with bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Graves' disease (a form of hyperthyroidism)
  • Migraine headaches or cluster headaches
  • Neutropenia (low levels of neutrophils, a type of white blood cells) that is caused by chemotherapy or other medications
  • Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH), a condition that affects sodium levels in the blood.
(Click Lithium Uses to learn about lithium indications in children and for information on how the medication works to control symptoms of bipolar disorder.)
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