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User Reviews for Lithium

Also known as: Lithium Carbonate ER, Lithobid

Lithium has an average rating of 7.3 out of 10 from a total of 389 ratings on Drugs.com. 67% of those users who reviewed Lithium reported a positive effect, while 19% reported a negative effect.

Condition Avg. Rating Reviews Compare
Bipolar Disorder   7.4
297 reviews 30 medications
Depression  Off-label 5.9
43 reviews 81 medications
Mania   8.3
16 reviews 15 medications
Borderline Personality Disorder  Off-label 6.2
11 reviews 25 medications
Cluster Headaches  Off-label 8.8
8 reviews 36 medications
Schizoaffective Disorder   8.1
8 reviews 27 medications
Cyclothymic Disorder  Off-label 9.5
6 reviews 5 medications
Summary of Lithium reviews 7.3 389 reviews

Reviews may be moderated or edited before publication to correct grammar and spelling or to remove inappropriate language and content. Reviews that appear to be created by parties with a vested interest in the medication will not be published. As reviews and ratings are subjective and self-reported, this information should not be used as the basis for any statistical analysis or scientific studies.

Reviews for Lithium

madison · Taken for 6 months to 1 year March 5, 2021

For Borderline Personality Disorder: “Lithium is the only drug I've ever taken that has reduced and almost eliminated my suicidal ideation. Don't get me wrong, my Borderline Personality Disorder BPD makes it very hard to control my impulses even while medicated, however I have not self harmed and have had no suicide attempts since starting lithium. I'm on 600 mg AM and PM, it has even helped me stay sober from alcohol and cocaine (coming up on 8 months now) I have gained about 50 pounds since then, but lithium is only a single factor in that. I have gotten less active and started eating a poorer diet since getting sober. Fact of the matter is, I finally know what it's like to live a life not wanting to kill myself 24/7. And it's a huge relief. There are drawbacks to it, but if you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, there is no better drug on the market.”

9 / 10
eri March 3, 2021

For Borderline Personality Disorder: “I only took 1000mg of Lithium for three months and I think it might have broken me for life. My emotions are numb and when I do feel I feel extremely dissociated from them, my hands still shake too. Before Lithium I drew every day, played guitar, wrote music, and read a new book every week. Since I took my first pill I haven't written a single song, haven't read a single book, and my art isn't what it used to be. I don't feel pleasure from anything in life anymore. I know it sounds outlandish but I am not exaggerating. Think very carefully before going on this stuff that they market as a pill.”

1 / 10
rustynail23 · Taken for 6 months to 1 year February 13, 2021

For Bipolar Disorder: “I’ve been on Lithium 600mg since May and it’s helped me tremendously. I no longer feel impulsive to do things like spend money (credit card). I truly believe had I found this medication sooner I wouldn’t have gotten myself in some financial trouble. I’ll just have to deal with it. But more about this great drug, I’m able to go to work each day which wasn’t possible before. I would find any little excuse to lay out of work. Well not on Lithium. It keeps my mood on an even keel. And I’m able to stay at work too. I know that may sound simple to do but before lithium it was a major problem for me.”

10 / 10

Frequently asked questions

Akadaca · Taken for 10 years or more September 18, 2020

Lithium Carbonate ER (lithium) for Bipolar Disorder: “Hi guys, I have been on Lithium Carbonate (1000 mg). This might shock you, but I have been on Lithium for 18 years, I'm now age 37, I was 20 years old I started. What I've learned is you need to know your triggers. For example, don't drink coffee, that made me shake. Watch what you eat and understand what triggers, which only you know. One major thing to stop doing is looking for answers on Google! Just see a doctor! Lithium saved my life. Yes, I've had the odd up and downs, but I keep going and made something of myself. If I've come this far, I know anybody can. Smile! I would like you all to know, at the end of the day, you can have so much of anything, so make the most of it and enjoy life. I used to be scared of people judging me. Still, I finally decided to write this review because there is too much misinformation out there.”

10 / 10
etherealmoon · Taken for 2 to 5 years February 4, 2020

For Bipolar Disorder: “I can safely say that Lithium has changed my life for the absolute best and has been an absolute miracle pill for me. I'm a whole new person and finally I am always who I was supposed to be. I finally want to live and love life and myself again. I've been taking lithium for around 3 years and started off low with 300 mg, then 600 mg for a long time, and just now going to 900 as my blood tests show I am low on lithium. The only down side is having to get blood tests to check that everything is okay with your kidneys as that is where it is processed, but it's not a big deal at all at the cost of having my life back again. I'm no longer a crazy, mean, suicidal mess and now a nice, loving, stable, and content human being! Don't get me wrong, I'm not perfect and still deal with a lot but lithium just takes the edge off and makes me be able to tolerate my bipolar II. I also take Prozac at 60mg for depression and Klonopin 2mg for anxiety. So glad to have my life and myself back again!”

9 / 10
Paulineeb · Taken for 10 years or more March 13, 2020

For Bipolar Disorder: “I have been on Lithium for fifteen years and I can honestly say it didn't help all that much but I stayed on it because it's supposed to be the "Gold Standard" treatment for Bipolar Disorder. Now that I'm being weaned off from it I can see that it was actually making me worse. I was on 1200 mg. and I'm down to 600mg and feeling much better. Gone is my depression, my anxiety, my diarrhea, my lack of concentration etc. etc. etc. I wish I had known this years ago, I am going off from it now as my kidneys will fail if I stay on it much longer. My previous Psych. Doc. would not use it as he saw way too many kidney failures at about the 15th-20th years while he was a resident. Please know that this drug is not without dire consequences eventually in time your kidneys will fail, if you don't believe it see a kidney specialist don't let your doctor pooh pooh this statistic. Please make an informed decision, and do what is right for you.”

2 / 10
Carolyn j · Taken for 1 to 6 months August 26, 2020

For Bipolar Disorder: “Lithium at a very low dose of 150 mg has stopped the lifelong rollercoaster ride of bipolar two - rapid cycling. Now I know what “normal” feels like! I was misdiagnosed for most of my life and felt like just not living the last three years and ended up homeless briefly. I was applying for SSDI but now I can work a Low stress full time job on Lithium. I still get tired but I’m 59 so it might be my age. Lithium, low doses of Gabapentin and Wellbutrin are the winning combination for me. I’m so grateful to have my life back and a functioning, clear mind and peaceful even mood. Lithium made all the difference!”

10 / 10

More FAQ

Ashley November 19, 2019

For Bipolar Disorder: “I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II at 18 and I am now 27. Since my teens I’ve had debilitating, mostly “mixed” depression and with suicidal ideation, self harm behaviors (cutting), and a few hospitalizations from suicide attempts. I tried multiple antidepressants (Zoloft, Prozac, Cymbalta, Effexor), mood stabilizers (Lamictal, Latuda, Depakote), atypical antipsychotics (Seroquel, Abilify), and finally, Lithium, which I discontinued after two weeks because I didn’t feel a change. Five years later, I decide to try Lithium again as a last resort. I forced myself to stay on it for at least 3 months because I read it takes several weeks to notice a difference. Nine months later and I’m on Lithium 900mg and I have ZERO suicidal thoughts, no interest in self harm (completely foreign to me now), no crying spells, low mood, etc. I experienced it’s full efficacy at 4 months with minimal side effects. Lithium changed my life. For first time in my life I feel healthy emotionally.”

10 / 10
Queenofthereich9 · Taken for less than 1 month January 8, 2019

For Bipolar Disorder: “I have only been on this medicine a short while, but all I can say is that I feel extremely balanced, and level. I feel like my depressive episodes have eased up quite a bit, which is amazing. Now, my moods hardly ever go into the depressive zone of the Bipolar mood scale. I can actually function again in life, and at my job! Plus, my anxiety levels are pretty much nothing now. For me, Lithium works as a mood stabilizer/anti anxiety/and somewhat of an antidepressant all in one. Lithium is a miracle, and I hope it works for you, as well as it did with me. Big hugs to all you other Bipolars out there:)”

10 / 10
Life changer · Taken for less than 1 month September 11, 2020

For Depression: “First of all, I don’t know my exact diagnosis. I’ve seen many psychiatrists over the past 8 years. I do know that I did have recurrent suicidal thoughts (daily). I attempted suicide for the first time when I was 16. I have been on many many medications from antipsychotics to benzos and of course tons of anti depressants. At the age of 26 I finally go prescribed Wellbutrin with what I consider the miracle drug LITHIUM. I’ve just been so productive, generally happy all within a single week! Slight nausea first few days but that went away. My family is amazed at my progress with lithium”

8 / 10
Popstar January 13, 2020

For Bipolar Disorder: “I have been on lithium for a year and it's made me depressed. I don't feel joy or love and am feeling disabled. I hope my psychiatrist does something to help me as I'm suicidal. Nothing works. I'm like a zombie.”

1 / 10
Kerry91 · Taken for less than 1 month September 16, 2019

For Bipolar Disorder: “I said no to lithium a hundred times to my psychiatrists in the past because of the awful things I've heard about the side effects. Now that I am on it after having so many episodes, all I can say so far after trying it myself and reading all these good responses is that I wish that I tried it sooner. My head feels clearer, I respond faster. It doesn't feel heavy like other psychiatric drugs which makes me feel worried because I think will it actually stop me from being manic again. I am on 400mg going up to 600mg lithium and 350mg clopixol depot injection every week. Trying lithium is the last result as I have tried almost every thing else. I have been to prison due to my mania, my mania gets pretty bad so I had to give this ago despite the things I've heard, I don't want to go back there ever again so this is my last hope. Wish me good luck that this will work. I will keep you updated in a couple of months.”

10 / 10
Missmonk · Taken for less than 1 month August 25, 2020

Lithium Carbonate ER (lithium) for Bipolar Disorder: “I am ADHD H.functioning ASD(aspergers) due to this my severe depression and anxiety has been treatment resistant for many years. Tried every SSRI/SNRI antidep. I was allergic to Quetiapine & Lamotrigine (rashes) Then in March I tested positive for Covid-19. Following extreme physical illness it triggered 3 months of solid depression and anxiety, I lost 3 stone couldn't get out of bed self harmed/suicidal thoughts. THEN I was prescribed LITHIUM! Only been on this a week at a dose of 300mg S/R I realise its only early days, but the difference is wow! After 3 days was able to get out of bed, dress, eat, talk to others. I still have increases due. No side effects yet. I've got a way to go, but this has given me the most hope I will get better. If you're like me ADHD/ASD or similar & no luck on traditional meds CONSIDER LITHIUM (I also take lisdex for ADHD. I live in the uk & have a CMHRS referral) stay safe all x”

8 / 10
mamatango June 25, 2019

For Bipolar Disorder: “I was so nervous about taking Lithium for my bipolar. I had read far too much, the good, the bad the ugly. I was worried about what this medication would do to my body, my kidneys etc., and more superficial concerns about weight gain and hair loss. I have been taking lithium for approx 1.5 years now. Aside from a very slight tremble when I sometimes drink, the side effects have been minimal. I'd estimate I have put on approx 1 stone since starting the medication, but that is something that I am in a good mindset now to tackle, and think I can lose. No problems so far with skin and sun sensitivity. The regular blood tests are important, and come around quickly, but so far results have been in the normal range. I feel like I have my life back. My marriage was in real danger, I couldn't enjoy parenting my children, now I feel I am back in control. When I think of all the trepidation I felt at the start of this journey, I wish I could tell earlier self to give it a go, things are going to be okay.”

10 / 10
WildcatVet June 6, 2020

For Depression: “This "old-fashioned" medication lithium was a lifesaver for me (I have depression) and I've taken it for years and years with absolutely no side effects or adverse events. To my mind there's nothing like it (in fact, it's the ONLY true mood stabilizer) and I've been on too many medications and combinations to count. This is the only drug that's given me relief from suicidal depression.”

10 / 10
Lyon February 6, 2021

For Bipolar Disorder: “This was the best decision of my entire life battling with relationship and career ending debilitating bipolar disorder. Cycled through cocktails of meds and finally just Lithium alone. I gained visible stability and it made me feel happy and safe. Deep pain and exuberant joy became mild hurt and happy feelings. I finally felt human again. I like myself. No longer the mood swinging angry and hurt slave to this disorder but a liberated stable warm and calm man. My anxiety went away. My life started to improve alongside my career and relationships and my family and close friends noticed and complimented. Doc took blood tests every dose increase, gave me the option to lower or stop at any time and found my ideal dose to be 1,200 mg (everyone’s different) no one size fits all. Side effects for me are weight gain. I weight lift everyday for 45 min. Works like a charm. Who said you can’t be physically fit and take lithium.”

9 / 10
Scotia Smith · Taken for 5 to 10 years October 23, 2020

Lithium Carbonate ER (lithium) for Bipolar Disorder: “I've been medicated for 20+ years now. Lithium carbonate ER is the only medication that stops my suicidal ideation obsessive thoughts. Yes I deal with side effects. I just have to be careful with my dosage. I've almost been killed by other meds for mania/mood balance. This is more predictable for me. It does cause me to crave sweets and salty foods. Off it, I don't have that issue. Dehydration is a problem. I have so many other chronic illnesses that it's difficult to pinpoint issues to just this medication. It has kept me from suicide many times now. I have tried many times since my suicidality surfaced when I was 6 years old. 40yrs of obsessive suicidal thoughts and this med has helped the most.”

10 / 10
Nuggets · Taken for 1 to 6 months November 19, 2019

For Bipolar Disorder: “Diagnosed bipolar 2 in 2018 took Latuda 30mg and lamictal 150mg hated the teeth clenching and the skin crawling feeling. Quit medications January 2019. Manic episodes lasting 3 months until starting meds at the end of October 2019 lithium 300mg twice daily and latuda 30mg daily. Lithium side effects craving salt, slight hand tremors, numb feelings and acne little noticeable. Lithium took effect almost immediately I love it. I was close to destroying my entire life until taking lithium. Don't give up! ♥️”

8 / 10
KateCambridge · Taken for 10 years or more November 5, 2019

For Bipolar Disorder: “I’ve been on lithium carbonate since I was 18 years old only coming off twice in my thirties for pregnancies. I can tell a major difference when I am off/on lithium. I am 100% sure that Lithium saved my life. 10/10”

10 / 10
XavierM · Taken for less than 1 month November 30, 2019

For Bipolar Disorder: “I was diagnosed bipolar type I 9 years ago and had 3 acute mania during these 9 years. Most of the time I was very depressed with suicidal thoughts. Anger bursts, high irritability (light, noise especially). Tried aripiprazole, pregabalin, valproic acid, clopixol, quetiapine, even cbd, all more awful that each of them (except cbd which is a bit calming but not so efficient after a few days, very expensive and nothing compared to lithium). Lithium was a revelation and calmed my mind immediately without making me feel a zombie. I'm a more calm and relax person with far less anxiety while being even more focused. Lucky. I've even stopped cutting the skin under my feet. Miraculous drug for me at 600mg extended release of carbonate. Lithium is a powerful element, it might not suit you but you should discuss this option with your doctor if you feel no drug works for you.”

10 / 10
koi · Taken for 1 to 6 months October 15, 2020

For Depression: “I have depression, anxiety and ADHD. I’ve been trying to find the right meds for me for a decade. My moods were out of control and would swing to extreme ends of the spectrum regularly. I also was having almost constant suicidal thoughts. My new psychiatrist made the decision to try me on lithium combined with my depression medicine (effexor) and literally after just a week of taking it I saw results. I felt like a brand new person. When people say this drug is a life saver they are not lying. If you feel as nothing is working for you there is hope, things do get better!”

10 / 10
Thom · Taken for less than 1 month April 13, 2019

For Bipolar Disorder: “Diagnosed as Bipolar II rapid cycling. Tried many drugs before: Seroquel, Tegretol, Depakote, valproic acid and they weren't so effective because of multiple hospitalizations. Been hospitalised 8 times per 1.5 years and had many med changes. During last stay in hospital, pdoc decided to give me Lithium. My blood tests always showed low lithium levels. So I didn't feel anything, was severely depressed, hopeless about everything. But after 3 weeks my blood tests showed good results and I started to notice a change in my mood. I became more socialised, my mood is much better, I joke more, have more energy, less anxiety and better sleep. For the first time in my life, I can say I feel at peace. Lithium made me slower, but I still feel it's benefits and all this time I didn't have a mood swing. Don't be afraid of this medication, if it helped me, it'll sure benefit you in some way. It's few days since I feel better, but every day I feel better and better.”

9 / 10
Grey Feathers August 29, 2019

For Bipolar Disorder: “Taking this medication at a dosage of 300-600 mg per day for the past 6+(lost count it's been so long) years has allowed my body to be able to heal itself. I also have no side effects at this dosage range. It is the only medication (I've tried all mood stabilizers, most antipsychotics, many SSRIs, and others) that has enabled me to achieve real remission. Other meds have helped, but they only masked the underlying problem. I have bipolar I and for the first time since my diagnosis 15 years ago, I have been episode free for more than a few months, actually it's been about 2 years now! Even at low therapeutic levels, lithium can help the brain protect and repair itself. This is backed up by scientific studies. It doesn't happen overnight, but with therapy and treatment compliance, lithium can help reverse some of the unseen damage caused by bipolar episodes. Lithium not only saved my life, it helped make mine a life worth living.”

10 / 10
Keza6921 · Taken for 1 to 2 years January 2, 2021

For Bipolar Disorder: “I've been on 600mg lithium for nearly 2 years now and all I've read was good things about it and how it stops you from having suicidal thoughts and depression - well it's made me worse then ever, I haven't felt so suicidal in my life! And the worse part is my doctor won't change my medication not even the dose no matter how many true horror stories I've told about myself. So I'm fighting all corners for it to be changed and not going to stop before it's too late. My head has brain fog 24,7 I'm confused a lot, my thinking is slow as anything and I'm gaining so much weight, its creeping up on me. Sure it has stopped my mania but the depression side of things, not at all.. at the beginning I thought this was a wonder drug and I actually put a really good review on here about a year and a half ago. I wish I could delete it instead of giving people false hope - give it time before you make any real judgements give it at least a year before you notice the true difference..x”

6 / 10
Proponent of Lithium For Suicidal Ideation October 21, 2013

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.”

9 / 10
Cee · Taken for 1 to 2 years July 18, 2019

For Bipolar Disorder: “I'm Bipolar 1 and my psychiatrist put me on Lithium after my first hospitalization for a manic episode with psychosis. I was really afraid because I have heard horror stories, but I trusted him. It's been almost two years and I have had no symptoms. Seriously. I have a normal range of emotions. I get happy and tear up when I see a cute dog, cry when something really bad happens, but nothing a normal person wouldn't experience. I was afraid I would be a zombie but I'm not at all. Overall I'm very happy. I drink a lot of water anyway so that wasn't a big deal and I haven't noticed any changes in my hair.”

10 / 10
123Katherine123 · Taken for 2 to 5 years August 6, 2013

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.”

10 / 10
thankfuluser · Taken for 1 to 2 years October 21, 2019

For Bipolar Disorder: “I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 2 at 18 years old. From then until I was 22, my life was bad. I couldn't remember ever being happy if I wasn't manic. I had an emptiness that consumed me and left me wanting to end it all. I had tried every medicine- with one doctor recommending shock therapy- until Lithium. Lithium gave me my old self back, to the point where I feel no trace of my disorder. The cons: My stomach gets queasy after I take it, so I take it at night. My thyroid has been negatively affected, so I now have to take Synthroid. The pros: I am happy again, I am functional again, and I no longer feel like a burden. Definitely try it, especially if you've tried everything like I have. Feel better :)”

9 / 10

This information is NOT intended to endorse any particular medication. While these reviews might be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, knowledge and judgement of healthcare practitioners.