What Is Lithium Used For?
Lithium (Eskalith®, Eskalith CR®, Lithobid®) is a naturally occurring element that is used in certain medications. Many people may wonder, "What is lithium used for?"
Lithium is used 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. Lithium has not been approved for treating bipolar disorder in children under 12 years old.
Occasionally, lithium is also used "off-label" for treating other conditions. Off-label lithium uses may include the treatment of:
- Agitation that is not associated with bipolar disorder
- 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 for more information on what lithium is used for, to find out how the medicine works, and to learn more about the effects of this drug.)