Also known as: Eskalith, Eskalith-CR, Lithobid, Lithonate, Lithotabs
The following information is NOT intended to endorse drugs or recommend therapy. While these reviews might be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care.
lithium for Bipolar Disorder: Currently on Lithicarb 500mg taken as 2 x 250mg tablets taken 1 morning and one night. Was bumped up to 750mg but reduced back after severe dry skin and digestive discomfort as side effects.
Was finally put on lithium after previously being misdiagnosed with just depression and general anxiety & put on Venlafaxine which exacerbated my mania...hence was finally correctly diagnosed with bipolar.
Suicidal thoughts are now minimal and I got over the need to pee excessively which comes with increasing your fluid intake after first starting my meds. Now I am 4 months in & I have gained weight but that doesn't bother me as much as my loss of creativity & general lack of motivation. On the plus side, this doesn't bother me as much as it should.
lithium for Mania: For some, lithium is the most effective choice for bipolar mania. Unfortunately for me, it's not. My body rebelled against it immediately and without pause for its entire 60-day 'trial'. My bowels were never solid the entire time. I'm amazed now that I never recognized any dehydration symptoms over that time. It worked for my dear departed mother, but not for me, but I gave it a shot.
Review by Pineapple38 (taken for less than 1 month):
lithium for Bipolar Disorder: I've been taking Lithium for three weeks now. For the first time in years I feel balanced. My major ups and downs have subsided and I do not have any side effects at all. Since I work in construction I monitor my fluid intake to avoid too much lithium in my system. The only drawback to drinking more water is having to frequent the restroom more often. My sleep has improved as well so all my previous medications are no longer needed. Currently I'm on 300mg 3x/day. Everybody's body responds differently to every medication out there and luckly I found something great.
21 users found this comment helpful.
Review by Proponent of Lithium For Suicidal Ideation:
lithium for Depression: Lithium is my Wonder Drug. I'm 51, was depressed on & off for years, had major depression for 7+ years, & have been suicidal since age 7.
The last 2 years were exhausting trying to stay ahead of the suicidal pull in spite of entering therapy & getting medicated. I finally asked my psychiatrist for ANY aggressive treatment -- regardless of the severity of the side effects -- because I was going to lose the battle.
He asked me to try Lithium, first.
Within a month, I had ZERO desire to kill myself.
Side effects: Major leg tremors (I take Effexor). I feel a little flat, but NO complaints; I can't REMEMBER the last time I wasn't suicidal, DAILY. I'm STUNNED at how this "alternative" feels & am glad I held on long enough to experience it.
lithium for Bipolar Disorder: I have been taking lithium bicarbonate for a little over 2 years. My dosage has fluctuated because I am also medicated for manic depression. I am 37 and have been medicated, on and off, for depression since I was 18. Lithium seems to help with my bipolar symptoms, not so much for my depression. My side effects have been: increased thirst, tremors, weight loss & occasional stomach aches if I do not eat enough when I take my pills. I am fine with these so long as I feel 'normal.' Frequent blood work is not bothersome as I understand they are screening for my own health...lithium toxicity levels, kidney functions, thyroid activity.
Review by Bearcat315 (taken for 10 years or more):
lithium for Bipolar Disorder: I have taken lithium since I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 in 1993. I stopped taking it for 10 years and then started taking it again and it's been 6 years back on it. I wouldn't substitute this medication. It works very well. The correct dosage is what matters most. The therapeutic window is 0.6 to 1.2 just because the level is slightly lower isn't always bad. It's alright to manage some of the symptoms but when it gets above 1.2 toxicity becomes an issue. It has to be maintained properly. My only drawback is occasional hand tremors and in high doses it tends to dull personality.
15 users found this comment helpful.
lithium for Depression: Have suffered with clinical depression for fifteen years and have been on numerous antidepressants. Have now been taking lithium for 9 months and have had a lot of problems including hands shaking, legs feeling as though they are going to give way a lot of the time, whole body feeling heavy, nausea, parts of my body suddenly jerking, sweating, but worst of all I feel as though I have had a personality transplant and do not recognize the agitated person I have become, the nightmares, my partner is very concerned. I am reducing the dose to come off it. I have just noticed on this site that it has a high interaction risk if taken with venlafaxine which I have been prescribed with it at the same time.
10 users found this comment helpful.
Review by 123Katherine123 (taken for 2 to 5 years):
lithium for Depression: I was on many anti-depressants and none of them helped with my suicidal thoughts except lithium. Some medications I was on made me better, but very flat and emotionless. For me, lithium only takes the sharp edges off the bad emotions and leaves room for good (but not manic) ones. I had slight hand tremors for about a year after starting this, which was annoying but not incapacitating. They are gone now. I also gained about 10 pounds during the first few months, but lost it easily and I am now lighter than when I started. People used to tell me: Oh you'll gain so much weight, but it is mostly water weight because you get very thirsty. Overall, my quality of life is much, much better. Also you can safely stay on lithium for years.
21 users found this comment helpful.
Review by Ceareal1978 (taken for less than 1 month):
lithium for Bipolar Disorder: I have found lithium works awesome for my depression/bipolar however the side effects are causing a problem. After couple weeks the nausea has not gone away. I am losing my instant memory and found myself confused when doing or talking about a topic, I can't remember what I just said or heard.
28 users found this comment helpful.
lithium for Bipolar Disorder: Terrific against mania, haven't had a manic episode in 2 years. Also with barely any manic symptoms. However, for me it's not great against depression but does help a little. It also helped with suicidal tendencies.
22 users found this comment helpful.
lithium for Cluster Headaches: Lithium saved my life. Nothing worked on my cluster headaches until my Dr. prescribed lithium. It was miraculous and worked within 24 hours. It broke the cycle. Subsequently I have also used oxygen therapy and it too has been very effective. Just not as easy as taking a pill, but less side effects.
Review by DirtyDrew (taken for 6 months to 1 year):
lithium for Bipolar Disorder: In 4 weeks, lithium took me from constantly obsessing about suicide, to having almost no suicidal ideation. Minor side effects include extra urination, and minor nausea if taken without enough food.
26 users found this comment helpful.
lithium for Bipolar Disorder: I have been taking lithium since 1983, It has kept me stable but I miss the highs, my creative side has disappeared, can't concentrate and I lose interest in things and I have been told I must take lithium for the rest of my life.
37 users found this comment helpful.
lithium for Bipolar Disorder: I have suffered with bipolar disorder as long as I can remember its been one manic episode after another. I'm 31 now and have been on lithium for 3 and a half weeks in now and for the last 3 days have felt the best I ever have, I feel stable and finally am free of the need to self medicate. I know its only early days and have had some side effects such as extreme thirst, minor weight gain and hate the blood tests but this is a small price to pay for finally feeling well. Hope other people with this illness have the same success as I'm getting. All the best.
44 users found this comment helpful.
lithium for Bipolar Disorder: Lithium has been very good for me.Like every medication that I have ever took it seems not to work as well after a year or so.I have been Bipolar since 2004 and depressed since 1984.
15 users found this comment helpful.
lithium for Borderline Personality Disorder: Turned me into a zombie and made me gain at least 60 pounds. Lithium completely numbed out my emotions until I could no longer function. I was on it for 3 years and nobody would take me off of it because I have adverse reactions to most mood stabilizers that could replace it and they viewed me having no moods at all as better than having symptomatic Borderline Personality Disorder. I barely have any memories from the time I was on lithium. I was eventually taken off it because it started driving me into rage.
11 users found this comment helpful.
lithium for Mania: Aside from some of the crummy side effects, bipolar disorder would not and could not be tolerable without lithium. I used to take Depakote alone, now I take lithium and Depakote and can honestly say that keep me even...most of the time.
lithium for Bipolar Disorder: This drug has saved two of my very good friends from what I really belive would have been both of their deaths. The 1st friend was an emotional wreck, and the 2nd friend was a suicidal cutter, and BOTH have gotten their lives back and are on the right path with this medication. Both did gain some weight and got some acne, but when you look at the alternative, I think they are both beyond grateful for it all! As am I, so I think if someone you know is like this, please get them to a doctor who knows about bi-polar disorder, and get them onto this medication, it really truly DOES WORK for a lot of folks suffering through their life, when there is NO NEED to! Help them! WE ALL DESERVE TO LIVE A SOMEWHAT "NORMAL" LIFE!
42 users found this comment helpful.
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