Lithium Side Effects

Other Side Effects

Some lithium side effects may or may not be related to the level of lithium in your blood. Although some of these side effects may be more serious than others, you should let your healthcare provider know right away if you experience any of them. Although these side effects are less closely associated with lithium toxicity, almost any side effect can potentially signal a problem with the drug.
 
These possible side effects include:
 
  • Slurred speech
  • Twitching
  • Dizziness
  • A spinning sensation (vertigo)
  • Bowel or bladder control problems
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Dry or thinning hair
  • Hair loss (see Lithium and Hair Loss)
  • Dry mouth (see Lithium and Dry Mouth)
  • Blackout spells
  • Unusual muscle tension or movements
  • An irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • A slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Fainting
  • Vision problems
  • Unmasking of preexisting Brugada syndrome (a condition involving heart rhythm abnormalities that increases the risk of sudden death)
 

Final Thoughts on Lithium Side Effects

You may experience some or none of the side effects listed in this article. Unfortunately, there is no way for your healthcare provider to know beforehand if you will have side effects from a medicine that you have never tried. Therefore, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any side effects while taking the drug. You should also let your healthcare provider know if you develop something that "just does not seem right" during treatment. While it may not be a side effect of lithium, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.
 
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