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User Reviews for Lithium to treat Bipolar Disorder

Also known as: Lithium Carbonate ER, Lithobid

Lithium has an average rating of 7.4 out of 10 from a total of 283 ratings for the treatment of Bipolar Disorder. 67% of reviewers reported a positive effect, while 18% reported a negative effect.

Lithium Rating Summary

7.4/10 average rating

283 ratings from 306 user reviews.

Compare all 80 medications used in the treatment of Bipolar Disorder.

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Reviews for Lithium

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

Lithium Carbonate ER (lithium): “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
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Ashley November 19, 2019

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

“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
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ES March 27, 2021

“Lithium totally turned my sister's life around. She used to cycle, self medicate with pot, get angry and at the end she got into permanent psychosis. She constantly had tormenting voices that was making her very agitated; it was very hard to deal with. This was going on for ten years and we tried antipsychotics, lamictal and everything in-between and she hated everything. Lithium made a dramatic difference. Takes a little while to get used to but totally changed things around and made her a different person. One day she decided that she no longer needs meds and she went back directly to the crazy state. It is important that people stick with the medication. The side effects are super minor like thirstiness. I spent years looking online at these review boards hoping for a wonder drug and then we got lithium. I feel I can now give back to this community and tell our story. Please do not give up. There is help!!!!”

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

“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
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Keza6921 · Taken for 1 to 2 years March 31, 2021

“An update from my last review. I was on 600mg for 2 years and it did nothing for my depression and now my doc put me on 800mg and oh my what a difference its been! I'm more positive, more happy, less anxiety and I have the most positive and lovely images in my mind instead of bad memories. Things are really looking up x”

9 / 10
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Queenofthereich9 · Taken for less than 1 month January 8, 2019

“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
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Frequently asked questions

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

“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
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Carolyn j · Taken for 1 to 6 months August 26, 2020

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

Lithium Carbonate ER (lithium): “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
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Popstar January 13, 2020

“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
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mamatango June 25, 2019

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

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

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

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

Lithium Carbonate ER (lithium): “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
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Grey Feathers August 29, 2019

“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
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Cee · Taken for 1 to 2 years July 18, 2019

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

“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
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tjj1952 · Taken for 10 years or more February 20, 2018

Lithobid (lithium): “I started having severe depression in 1971b(suicidal ideations) followed by manic episodes that ended in psychosis, jail and mental institutions. I held the manic episodes at bay by consuming large amounts of alcohol. After a hospitalization in 1979 for depression, I was prescribed lithium. I quit taking lithium once in 1983 to go natural and wound up in the puzzle house. I have been taking it ever since (1200 mg/ day) and have experienced no perceptible side effects. I just had blood work done and have normal kidney and liver function. I did quit drinking and I now exercise regularly. I am now retired after a successful marriage and career. I have lived a good life.”

10 / 10
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NHelm March 8, 2019

“My diagnosis is Bipolar I with PTSD. I have a tendency toward mixed episodes and psychotic features. I found relief with lithium when nothing else worked. Other drugs like Lamictal gave me horrible cognitive side effects. I couldn't finish sentences or remember things that happened minutes ago. That was not the case with Lithium. I took Lithium for the first time during inpatient for a severe mixed episode and the difference was like night and day. It was like taking a painkiller when in severe pain. Within thirty minutes I felt what I can only describe as RELIEF. I've never had such a rapid and drastic reduction in symptoms. There is a reason Lithium is considered the "gold standard" in treating bipolar disorder. Everyone is different and some experience bad side effects with little relief on this medication, however I would recommend at least trying it if your doctor prescribes it. The only side effect I experience is increased thirst- a small price to pay for getting my life back.”

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

“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
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Finally cured April 24, 2018

“After numerous hospitalizations and medications I was prescribed lithium. I remember it so clearly while I was in the hospital. After taking it my brain literally felt like it was in a car accident. I asked my Dr Does this mean it working my brain was literally sore. He laughed nicely and said yes... I could actually hear and process what people were saying without interrupting them. My mind was calm and my brain was processing everything. I do not know why the medical community does not prescribe lithium more. I started out on 900 milligrams and now I only need 300 milligrams a day along with 150 of wellbutrin for weight stabilization and depression. It not only work for Bipolar I also have borderline personality disorder issues. Self harm, drugs alcohol etc. Scientists even say we all need low doses of lithium research it for yourself and God bless to all who need to be cured.”

9 / 10
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BiPolar Bear December 10, 2018

Lithium Carbonate ER (lithium): “I started on 150mg then switched to ER, I'm at 600mg heading for 900mg now and I have to say, you HAVE to give this drug time. I was anal retentive and a perfectionist with a lot of anxiety and depression. It was also easy to manipulate me because I had such low self-esteem at the time. I'd constantly find myself befriending those who had just as low self-esteem and those who liked to undermine me. Since I started, I started to grow a backbone and it scared a lot of the people who had this control on me. I've thankfully removed these toxic people from my life and have gradually brought in people who want the best for me. It really is a good mood stabilizer. What I do feel bad about today is that the friendships I lost because I wasn't on this drug previously to prevent me from doing something stupid.”

10 / 10
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Lyon February 6, 2021

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

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