Lithium is Bipolar Disorder Drug: Side Effects and Dosage

Lithium is a mood stabilizer medicine that acts in the brain. It supports the therapy of bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression).

Before get started, You should read: Do I Have Bipolar Disorder?

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Lithium is bipolar disorder drug

Lithium is a mood stabilizer that works in your brain. It is approved for the treatment of the bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder includes episodes of depression and mania. Lithium is a widely used and studied medication for treating bipolar disorder.
Lithium helps reduce the severity of mania. It also helps relieve or prevent bipolar depression.

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How does it work?

Lithium works are now unknown, but it helps mental disorders by increasing the activity of chemical messengers in the human brain. It might also be needed for other body functions, like the development of blood cells.

Side effects of lithium

  • Lithium is taken by mouth, likely safe for most people when taken appropriately with monitoring by a healthcare provider.
  • Lithium can cause diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, and change in heart rhythm, muscle weakness, fatigue.
  • Lithium can also cause or skin disorders such as acne and rashes. Also can cause problems with the thyroid gland.
  • The amount of lithium in the body is carefully controlled and monitored with blood tests.


  • Acute mania
  • Prophylaxis for a bipolar and unipolar mood disorder
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Cyclothymia
  • Impulsivity and aggression
  • Other disorders:
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Episodes of binge drinking
  • Trichotillomania
  • Cluster head lithium is readily absorbed with peak plasma levels occurring 2-4 hours after a single oral lithium dose.

Lithium dosage

Children by mouth

For bipolar disorder: 16-60 mg/kg per day

Adult for acute episodes bipolar disorder

1.2 gm or 20-30 mg/kg of lithium carbonate per day in 2-3 doses of mania and depression.


Lithium is an effective drug if you take it as your doctor prescribes. But, lithium is not for everyone, and if you don’t take it as your doctor tells you, you could be in danger of lithium toxicity.

  • Ensure that your doctor has your medical history and knows all of the supplements and drugs you take.
  • Take the drug as your doctor tells you to.
  • Talk with a doctor about your concerns about your treatment.

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