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Eskalith (Generic Lithium)

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Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To determine how you react to lithium, your doctor will request specific lab tests.

Why is this medication prescribed?

In patients with bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder, a condition that causes episodes of depression, episodes of mania, and other aberrant moods), lithium is used to treat and prevent mania episodes (frenzied, unnaturally enthusiastic mood). Lithium belongs to a group of drugs termed antimanic agents. It functions by reducing the brain’s aberrant activity.

How should this medicine be used?

The oral dosage forms of lithium include tablets, capsules, extended-release (long-acting) tablets, and solutions (liquids). It is typical to take the tablets, capsules, and solution three to four times per day. Typically, two to three times per day are used to take the extended-release tablets. Lithium should be taken every day at roughly the same time. Ask your doctor or chemist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Lithium should be taken as prescribed. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

Do not split, chew, or crush the extended-release tablet; instead, swallow it whole.

During your therapy, your doctor may adjust the dosage of your prescription. Pay close attention to these guidelines.

Although it won’t treat your disease, lithium may help you manage it. You might not start to experience the full benefits of lithium for 1 to 3 weeks or more. Lithium should still be taken even if you feel OK. Stop taking lithium only after consulting your doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

Additionally, lithium is occasionally used to treat conditions like depression, schizophrenia (a mental illness characterised by abnormal or disturbed thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions), disorders of impulse control (the inability to control one’s urges to harm oneself), and specific childhood mental illnesses. The dangers of using this drug for your illness should be discussed with your doctor.

Ask your doctor or chemist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking lithium,

  • If you have any pharmaceutical allergies, be sure to let your doctor and chemist know.
    If you take diuretics (sometimes known as “water pills”), let your doctor know. If you are taking lithium, your doctor may advise against taking it or may closely watch you for any negative effects.
  • Inform your doctor and chemist about any vitamins, nutritional supplements, herbal items, and prescription and over-the-counter medicines you are now taking or intend to take. Any of the following should be mentioned: Aminophylline, benazepril (Lotensin), acetazolamide (Diamox), angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, the following medications are used to treat hypertension: captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), fosinopril, lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), moexipril (Univasc), perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), and trandolapril (Mavik); agonists of the angiotensin II receptor include candesartan (Atacand), eprosartan (Teveten), irbesartan (Avapro), losartan (Cozaar), olmesartan (Benicar), telmisartan (Micardis), and valsartan (Diovan), calcium channel blockers such amlodipine (Norvasc), diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac, and others), sodium bicarbonate as an antacid, caffeine (used in several drugs to treat sleepiness and headaches), caffeine as a stimulant, and others, felodipine (Plendil), isradipine (DynaCirc), nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), nimodipine (Nymalize), nisoldipine (Sular), and verapamil (Calan, Covera, Verelan); carbamazepine (Tegretol); drugs for mental illness such metronidazole (Flagyl), methyldopa (Aldomet), and haloperidol (Haldol); celecoxib (Celebrex), indomethacin (Indocin), and piroxicam (Feldene) are examples of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) include theophylline (Theolair, Theochron), duloxetine (Cymbalta), citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft). Your doctor may have to modify the doses of your medicine or watch you more carefully for side effects.
  • If you have or have previously had kidney or heart disease, let your doctor know. Additionally, let your doctor know if you experience or develop severe diarrhoea, heavy perspiration, or fever while receiving therapy. Your doctor might advise against taking lithium or might keep a closer eye out for any negative effects.
  • Inform your doctor if you have thyroid illness, organic brain syndrome, or if you’ve ever fainted for no apparent reason. Organic brain syndrome is any physical disorder that alters how your brain functions. Additionally, let your doctor know if you or any members of your family have ever experienced Brugada syndrome (a condition that can result in a potentially fatal abnormal heartbeat) or if anyone in your family has passed away unexpectedly before the age of 45.
  • Inform your physician if you are nursing a baby, intend to get pregnant, or are already pregnant. Call your doctor if you get pregnant while taking lithium. The foetus could suffer from lithium.
  • Inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking lithium if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.
  • You should be aware that this medicine may cause you to feel sleepy. Prior to understanding how this drug affects you, avoid using machinery or driving a car.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

During your therapy, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy diet that includes the appropriate levels of fluid and salt. You’ll receive detailed instructions regarding the diet that is best for you from your doctor. Pay close attention to these guidelines.

Consult your doctor before consuming caffeinated beverages like tea, coffee, cola, or chocolate milk.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Lithium could have negative effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Restlessness
  • Controlling little hand movements might be challenging.
  • Slight thirst
  • Reduced appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas
  • Indigestion
  • Loss or increase of weight
  • Mouth ache
  • Mouth salivation that is too much
  • Altered capacity for food flavour
  • Enlarged lips
  • Acne
  • Hair fall
  • Unexpected discomfort from the cold
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Muscular or joint ache
  • Paleness
  • Thin, brittle hair or fingernails
  • Itching
  • Rash

There could be some severe negative effects. Get emergency medical assistance or call your doctor right away if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Unexpected fatigue or weakened state
  • Extreme thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Jerky, slow movements
  • Peculiar or difficult-to-control movements
  • Blackouts
  • Seizures
  • Fainting
  • Feeling unsteady or lightheaded
  • Heartbeats that are rapid, irregular, or hammering
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Chest constriction
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things or sounds that are not there)
  • Squinted eyes
  • Fingers and toes that are throbbing, chilly, or discoloured
  • Headache
  • Hearing thumping in the head
  • Edoema in the lower legs, ankles, or foot

Call your doctor right away and stop taking lithium if you suffer any of the symptoms listed below:

  • Drowsiness
  • A region of your body that you are unable to control shakes
  • Muscle tightness, twitching, stiffness, or weakness
  • Inability to coordinate
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Muddled speech
  • Giddiness
  • Hearing ringing
  • Fuzzy vision

Other negative effects of lithium could exist. If you get any strange symptoms while taking this medication, contact your doctor right away.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online at or by phone at 1-800-332-1088 if you have a serious side event.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it at room temperature and out of the bathroom and other places with excessive heat and moisture.

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilizing a medicine take-back program is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programs in your area, speak with your chemist or the garbage/recycling agency in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back program, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at for additional information.

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

Overdose signs could include the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Muscular tremor
  • Inability to coordinate
  • Giddiness
  • Fuzzy vision
  • Hearing ringing
  • Excessive urination

What other information should I know?

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding prescription refills should be directed to your chemist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Eskalith®
  • Eskalith® CR
  • Lithobid®
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