Lithium (Eskalith®, Eskalith CR®, Lithobid®) is a medication often used for the treatment of bipolar disorder. It comes in several different forms (including regular tablets, extended-release tablets, capsules, and a syrup) and is available by prescription only.
Before you start using lithium, safety information concerning the medicine should be discussed with your healthcare provider. It is important to know that lithium toxicity may occur during treatment. If you have kidney disease, heart disease, dehydration, or low sodium levels in your blood, you may be at high risk for lithium toxicity. If you have these problems, your healthcare provider may choose to recommend an alternative to lithium.
In most cases, side effects that occur with this medication are actually signs of lithium toxicity. Side effects that may be signs of mild to moderate lithium toxicity include muscle weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, and drowsiness. Signs of more severe toxicity may include severe shakiness, ringing in the ears, and seizures.
(Click Lithium Side Effects and Lithium Warnings and Precautions for more lithium safety information, including other possible side effects and warnings on who should not use this medication.)