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Lithium

Side Effects of Lithium

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with lithium. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can be easily treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
 
Common side effects include but are not limited to:
 
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting.
     
(Click Lithium Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
 
You can also read more about specific side effects in the following eMedTV articles:
 
 

Drug Interactions

Lithium can potentially interact with a number of other medicines (see Lithium Drug Interactions).
 

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking It?

Talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking lithium if you have:
 
  • Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Heart disease
  • Brugada syndrome (or a family history of Brugada syndrome)
  • Unexplained fainting episodes
  • A family history of sudden, unexplained death before the age of 45
  • Dehydration
  • Low sodium levels in your blood (hyponatremia)
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
You should also make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 
(Click Lithium Warnings and Precautions to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
 
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