Full instructions, dosage information and potential known side effects are all available in the leaflet that comes with the prescription product. If you require any advice or assistance with placing your order, please donâ€™t hesitate to contact our team.
How do I take/use this medicine?
Take Lithium exactly as directed by your doctor. DO NOT take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may need to take Lithium for some time before the full benefits can be felt. Do not be discouraged if you do not feel better soon after taking the medicine. Lithium must be taken regularly for it to work properly.
Continue to take it even when you feel better. Do not stop taking Lithium unless your doctor has decided that you can stop. If Lithium is stopped suddenly, you may feel unwell or your condition may worsen. When your doctor decides that you do not need Lithium anymore, he will usually reduce your dose slowly. Follow the doctor's instructions carefully.
Take Lithium with food. This will help to reduce any stomach discomfort or indigestion that Lithium may cause. Take Lithium at about the same time everyday. Follow the times given by the doctor. This will help to keep a constant amount of Lithium in your body and therefore help to control your condition better.
Take Lithium with plenty of water, unless your doctor has specifically told you not to do so.
Lithium may be available as a conventional tablet or capsule, extended-release or slow-release tablet or oral liquid.
If you have been given the conventional tablet or capsule, swallow it with a glass of water.
If you have been given the extended-release tablet (usually marked as "CR", "XR" or "XL") or the slow-release tablet (usually marked as "SR") swallow it without chewing or crushing the tablet. Do not cut the tablet unless your doctor specifically told you to do so.
If you have been given the oral liquid, use the dropper or measuring spoon given to accurately measure out your dose. It is important that you measure out the dose accurately.
What should I take note of while using/taking this medicine?
Alert your doctor if you have any of these conditions:
- thyroid disease
- high blood pressure
- a skin condition known as psoriasis
- severe muscle weakness such as myasthenia gravis
- conditions where you lose fluids such as diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, excessive sweating
- thoughts or attempts to harm yourself or others
Before you start treatment with Lithium, your doctor will conduct some simple blood or urine tests to ensure that your kidneys, heart and thyroid gland are working well.
For as long as you are being treated with Lithium, you will also need to have regular blood tests. These tests help your doctor to monitor the levels of Lithium in your body, your blood counts and kidney function. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these blood tests. Keep all appointments with your doctor and do not skip any appointments.
If you are going for an operation, including minor operations and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Lithium.
When should I not use this medicine?
Alert your doctor immediately if you are pregnant or if you become pregnant while being treated with Lithium. Do not take Lithium if you are in the first 3 months (1st trimester) of pregnancy or if you are planning to have a baby soon. Lithium may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven and effective birth control methods while being treated with Lithium.
Alert your doctor if you are breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with Lithium.
Lithium may not be suitable for you if you have any of these conditions:
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- an adrenal gland condition known as Addison's disease
- severe dehydration
Lithium is not suitable for children younger than 12 years old.
Are there any restrictions on the type of food I can take?
Try to avoid drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas and coffee. These drinks cause you to pass urine more often. The loss of too much water from your body may increase the risk of side effects.
Maintain a good fluid intake of about 2-3L everyday while being treated with Lithium, unless your doctor has specifically told you not to do so.
Why do I need this medicine?
Lithium is used to treat conditions such as bipolar disorder (manic depression) and depression. It is also used to treat aggressive and
Lithium helps to stabilise your mood and helps prevent mood swings.
What side effects could I experience?
Lithium may make you drowsy or dizzy. You may also feel a little dazed. Do not drive or take part in any activities in which you need to be alert.
Some common side effects of Lithium include headache, mild nausea, mild diarrhoea, stomach discomfort, bloating, stomach wind, shaky or trembling hands, tiredness, poor concentration, poor memory, thirst and passing urine frequently. Alert your doctor immediately if any of these side effects are severe or if they do not go away.
Alert your doctor immediately if you have prolonged diarrhoea or vomiting, dehydration, excessive urination, muscle weakness, poor coordination of movements, irregular heartbeat, unusually fast or slow heartbeat, palpitations, ringing or other noise in the ears, blurred vision, slurred speech, fever or any signs of infection.
Excessive sweating may affect how Lithium works in your body and make you more prone to side effects. If you sweat a lot, make sure that you drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. Avoid strenuous activities and activities such as going to the sauna.
How should I store this medicine?
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
Can I take/use this with other medicines?
Alert your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, especially those listed here:
- painkillers known as NSAIDs such as aspirin, diclofenac, naproxen, indomethacin, piroxicam, celecoxib
- high blood pressure medicines such as enalapril, perindopril, verapamil, diltiazem, nifedipine, amlodipine, candesartan, irbesartan, losartan, methyldopa
- heart medicines such as quinidine, flecainide, amiodarone, sotalol
- epilepsy (fits) medicines such as carbamazepine, phenytoin
- medicines containing high amounts of salts such as urinary alkalising agents and antacids
- mood medicines such as chlorpromazine, haloperidol
- antidepressants such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline, desipramine, imipramine, mirtazapine, fluoxetine, flupenthixol, moclobemide, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid, selegiline
- diuretics ("water pills") such as frusemide, acetazolamide, hydrochlorothiazide, indapamide
- antibiotics such tetracycline, doxycycline, erythromycin or metronidazole
- malaria medicines such as mefloquine
- diet pills such as sibutramine
- dolasetron ( medicine for nausea and vomiting)
- asthma medicine such as theophylline or aminophylline
- leukaemia medicine called arsenic trioxide
Always inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.