What is Lithium Carbonate?

Category: Prescription Drugs

Most popular types: Lithium Carbonate ER Priadel Lithobid XR Show all

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Lithium carbonate is used to treat and prevent episodes of mania in people with bipolar disorder (manic depressive disorder). Lithium is in a class of medications called antimanic agents, which work by decreasing abnormal activity in the brain.

Reported purpose & perceived effectiveness
Purpose Patients Evaluations Perceived Effectiveness
Bipolar disorder 942 528
Bipolar II disorder 395 227
Bipolar I disorder 392 227
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 301 124
Major depressive disorder 76 56
Depressed mood 29 11

Show all 80 reasons taken


  • Major
  • Moderate
  • Slight
  • None
  • Can't tell

Side effects

Side effects as an overall problem

Side effects as an overall problem
Severity Evaluations
Severe 255
Moderate 292
Mild 266
None 221

Commonly reported side effects and conditions associated with Lithium Carbonate

Side effect Patients
Tremor in hands 122
Weight gain 104
Nausea 60
Thirst 47
Diarrhea 44
Excessive thirst (polydipsia) 43

Show all 298 reported side effects

Dosages

Based on patients currently taking Lithium Carbonate

Dosage Patients
900 mg daily 28
300 mg daily 27
300 mg twice daily 27
600 mg daily 20
300 mg three times daily 15
600 mg twice daily 14
1,200 mg daily 10
450 mg twice daily 7
150 mg daily 6
450 mg daily 5

See all 38 dosages

Why patients stopped taking Lithium Carbonate

Multiple reasons could be selected

Reason Patients
Side effects too severe 496
Did not seem to work 362
Doctor's advice 265
Other 161
Personal research 74
Course of treatment ended 30
Expense 18
Change in health plan coverage 10
See all 988 patients who've stopped taking Lithium Carbonate

Duration

Currently taking Lithium Carbonate

Duration Patients
1 - 6 months 8
6 months - 1 year 20
1 - 2 years 32
2 - 5 years 48
5 - 10 years 52
10 years or more 40

Stopped taking Lithium Carbonate

Duration Patients
Less than 1 month 190
1 - 6 months 250
6 months - 1 year 175
1 - 2 years 132
2 - 5 years 140
5 - 10 years 49
10 years or more 58
Adherence
Adherence Evaluations
Always 761
Usually 170
Sometimes 33
Never taken as prescribed 70
Burden
Burden Evaluations
Very hard to take 90
Somewhat hard to take 150
A little hard to take 175
Not at all hard to take 619
Cost per month
Cost per month Evaluations
$200+ 9
$100-199 1
$50-99 13
$25-49 37
< $25 531
Not specified 443

What people switch to and from

Patients started taking Lithium Carbonate after stopping:

Treatment Patients
Lamotrigine (Lamictal) 41
Quetiapine (Seroquel) 38
Divalproex sodium (Depakote) 24
Aripiprazole (Abilify) 22
Olanzapine (Zyprexa) 10

Show all 40 treatments patients report switching from

Patients stopped taking Lithium Carbonate and switched to:

Treatment Patients
Lamotrigine (Lamictal) 67
Divalproex sodium (Depakote) 26
Aripiprazole (Abilify) 25
Quetiapine (Seroquel) 20
Carbamazepine (Tegretol) 9

Show all 36 treatments patients report switching to

Last updated:

91 patient evaluations for Lithium Carbonate

Mar 22, 2010 (Started Apr 01, 2005)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for Treat my mood condition(s))
  • Side effects
    Mild (thirst, weight gain, tremor in hands)
  • Adherence
    Usually
  • Burden
    Somewhat hard to take
Dosage: 900 mg Daily
Advice & Tips: Side effects were gone after a month of treatment, only when raising dosage would side effects temporarily reappear then go away within approx. a weeks time. Blood work must always be maintained while on lithium which can sometimes be a nuisance. Treatment was very effective for quite a few years until other medical conditions required me to start a different medication that could not be used with lithium. The lithium also seemed to fail after about four years but was probably due to my newly discovered health condition.
Cost: < $25 monthly
Side effects: tremor in hands, weight gain, thirst

Aug 17, 2009 (Started Apr 01, 2005)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for Treat my mood condition(s))
  • Side effects
    Mild (thirst, weight gain, tremor in hands)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    A little hard to take
Dosage: 900 mg Daily
Advice & Tips: Just like every medication there are side effects. I have noticed with any medication I have been on for an extended period 99% of those side effects disappear after so many weeks. The side effects that don't you just decide whether or not you can live with as long as they are not dangerous. Remember while on lithium to have your levels checked when your doctor requests.
Cost: < $25 monthly
Side effects: tremor in hands, weight gain, thirst

  • 1 helpful mark

Nov 2, 2011 (Started Oct 28, 2011)

  • Effectiveness
    Can't tell (for bipolar II disorder)
  • Side effects
    Moderate (nausea, headaches, constipation, blurry vision)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: 300 mg Daily

  • 1 helpful mark

Aug 23, 2017 (Started Jun 30, 2005)

  • Effectiveness
    None (for bipolar disorder)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Never taken as prescribed
  • Burden
    A little hard to take
Advice & Tips: If it works for you take it if not talk to your doctor hide nothing from your doctor's. There is hope
Cost: < $25 monthly

  • 1 helpful mark
Last updated:
Showing 3 of 91 patient evaluations for Lithium Carbonate