Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more or less of it, do not take it more or less often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

You might have to take this medicine for several weeks before you begin to feel better. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions.

Make sure that your doctor knows if you are on a low-sodium or low-salt diet. Too little salt in your diet could lead to serious side effects.

Talk to your doctor about the correct amount of fluid to take with this medicine. Some people need to drink extra fluid every day with the lithium.

Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not break, crush, or chew it.

Measure the oral solution with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup. A regular teaspoon may not measure the correct amount of medicine.

There are several different forms of lithium. The dose for each is different and they are used at different times of the day. Do not change the type of medicine you take without talking to your doctor first.

In order for lithium to work properly, it must be taken every day in regularly spaced doses as ordered by your doctor. This is necessary to keep a constant amount of lithium in your blood. To help keep the amount constant, do not miss any doses and do not stop taking the medicine even if you feel better.

Use only the brand of this medicine that your doctor prescribed. Different brands may not work the same way.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage forms (capsules, solution, and tablets):
    • For acute mania:
      • Adults—600 milligrams (mg) or 10 milliliters (mL) three times a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose if needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For long-term treatment of mania:
      • Adults—300 milligrams (mg) or 5 milliliters (mL) three or four times a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose if needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
  • For oral dosage form (extended-release tablets):
    • For acute mania:
      • Adults—900 milligrams (mg) two times a day, or 600 mg three times a day.
      • Teenagers and children 12 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
      • Children younger than 12 years of age—Use is not recommended.
    • For long-term treatment of mania:
      • Adults—600 milligrams (mg) two times a day, or three times a day up to 1200 mg per day.
      • Teenagers and children 12 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
      • Children younger than 12 years of age—Use is not recommended.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.