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What Does Lithium Treat?

Lithium (Eskalith®, Eskalith CR®, Lithobid®) is a "mood-stabilizing" medication that is available by prescription only. Many people may wonder, "What does lithium treat?"
Lithium products are used to treat bipolar disorder. Specifically, the medicine 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. Lithium is one of the oldest, most effective, and most affordable bipolar treatments available.
Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend "off-label" uses for this medication. Lithium can be used off-label to treat:
  • 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 more about what lithium is used to treat and to find out how this medication works.)
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