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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics

Mineral Supplements

"For Informational Use Only"
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  • Lithium Description & Overview
  • Lithium Health Benefits, Uses & Scientific Evidence
  • Lithium Dietary Sources
  • Lithium Dosage Information
  • Lithium Safety, Cautions & Interactions
  • Lithium Supplement Products

  • Lithium Element - Image Courtesy of



    Lithium (Li) is an element with an atomic number 3 and is also known as Lithium Carbonate, Lithium Citrate and Lithium Orotate. Lithium gets its name from "lithos," the Greek word for stone, because it is present in trace amounts in virtually all rocks.

    Lithium works with other elements, drugs, enzymes, hormones, vitamins, and growth factors in the body in many different ways. People use it for medicine. Lithium is used for mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia; for eating disorders, including anorexia and bulimia; and for blood disorders, including anemia and low white-cell count (neutropenia).

    Lithium is also used for headache, alcoholism, epilepsy, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disorders, arthritis, a skin condition called seborrhea, and overactive thyroid. Other uses include treatment of asthma, Huntington's disease, Graves' disease, herpes simplex, a movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia, Tourette's syndrome, cyclical vomiting, Meniere's disease, a tingling or "crawling" sensation in the skin (paresthesias), and aggressive behavior in people with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).



    Lithium compounds are used as a psychiatric medication. A number of salts of lithium are used as mood-stabilizing drugs, primarily in the treatment of bipolar disorder, where they have a role in the treatment of depression and particularly of mania, both acutely and in the long term. As a mood stabilizer, lithium is probably more effective in preventing mania than depression, and reduces the risk of suicide in bipolar patients. In depression alone (unipolar disorder), lithium can be used to augment other antidepressants. Lithium carbonate (Li2CO3), sold under several trade names, is the most commonly prescribed, while lithium citrate (Li3C6H5O7) is also used in conventional pharmacological treatments. Lithium orotate (C5H3LiN2O4), has been presented as an alternative. Lithium bromide and lithium chloride have been used in the past, however they fell out of use in the 1940s when it was discovered they were toxic. Many other lithium salts and compounds exist, such as lithium fluoride and lithium iodide, but they are presumed to be toxic substances and have never been evaluated for pharmacological effects.

    Upon ingestion, lithium becomes widely distributed in the central nervous system and interacts with a number of neurotransmitters and receptors, decreasing norepinephrine (noradrenaline) release and increasing serotonin synthesis.


    Lithium carbonate is an inorganic compound, the lithium salt of carbonate with the formula Li2CO3. This white salt is widely used in the processing of metal oxides and has received attention for the treatment for manic and bipolar disorder. It exists as the rare mineral zabuyelite. Like related lithium salts, Li2CO3 is an ionic compound. Its solubility in water is low relative to other lithium salts. The isolation of lithium from aqueous extracts of lithium ores capitalizes on this poor solubility. Its apparent solubility increases tenfold under a mild pressure of carbon dioxide; this effect is due to the formation of the metastable bicarbonate: Li2CO3 + CO2 + H2O → 2 LiHCO3

    The extraction of lithium carbonate at high pressures of CO2 and its precipitation upon depressuring is the basis of the Quebec process. Approximately 30,000 tons were produced in 1989. Lithium carbonate, and other carbonates of Group 1, do not decompose readily, unlike other carbonates. Li2CO3 decomposes at temperatures greater than 1300°C. Lithium is extracted from primarily two sources: pegmatite crystals and lithium salt from brine pools. Lithium oxide is typically mixed with a specific ratio of carbonate to produce the industry standard of lithium carbonate.

    Lithium carbonate is an important industrial chemical. It forms low-melting fluxes with silica and other materials. Glasses derived from lithium carbonate are useful in ovenware. Lithium carbonate is a common ingredient in both low-fire and high-fire ceramic glaze. Its alkaline properties are conducive to changing the state of metal oxide colorants in glaze particularly red iron oxide (Fe2O3). Cement sets more rapidly when prepared with lithium carbonate, and is useful for tile adhesives. When added to aluminium trifluoride, it forms LiF which gives a superior electrolyte for the processing of aluminium. Lithium carbonate is an active material of carbon dioxide sensors. It is also used in the manufacture of most lithium-ion battery cathodes, which are made of lithium cobalt oxide.

    Medical Uses & Lithium Pharmacology: In 1843, lithium carbonate was used as a new solvent for stones in the bladder. In 1859, some health care practitioners recommended a therapy with lithium salts for a number of ailments, including gout, urinary calculi, rheumatism, mania, depression, and headache. In 1949, John Cade discovered the anti-manic effects of lithium ions. This finding led lithium, specifically lithium carbonate, to be used to treat mania associated with bipolar disorder. Lithium carbonate is used to treat mania, the elevated phase of bipolar disorder. Lithium ions interfere with ion transport processes (sodium pump) that relay and amplify messages carried to the cells of the brain. Mania is associated with irregular increases in protein kinase C (PKC) activity within the brain. Lithium carbonate and sodium valproate, another drug traditionally used to treat the disorder, act in the brain by inhibiting PKC's activity and help to produce other compounds that also inhibit the PKC. Despite these findings, a great deal remains unknown regarding lithium's mood controlling properties.

    Some studies have suggested therapeutic benefit of lithium carbonate in certain neuromuscular conditions like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy. A 2010 controlled trial of lithium carbonate in ALS did not confirm earlier suggestions, finding the compound ineffective and possibly toxic in ALS patients.

    Safety use of lithium salts have a number of risks and side effects, especially at higher doses. Lithium intoxication affects the central nervous and renal systems and is potentially lethal.


    Lithium citrate (Li3C6H5O7) is a chemical compound of lithium and citrate that is used as a mood stabilizer in psychiatric treatment of manic states and bipolar disorder. There is extensive pharmacology of lithium, the active component of this salt.

    Lithia water contains various lithium salts, including the citrate. An early version of Coca-Cola available in pharmacies' soda fountains called Lithia Coke was a mixture of Coca-Cola syrup and lithia water. The soft drink 7Up was originally named "Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda" when it was formulated in 1929 because it contained lithium citrate. The beverage was a patent medicine marketed as a cure for hangover. Lithium citrate was removed from 7Up in 1948. Lithium citrate is sold as Litarex and Demalit.


    Lithium aspartate, is a salt of aspartic acid and lithium. It is sometimes marketed as a dietary supplement used in small doses to treat certain medical conditions, however there are no systematic reviews supporting the efficacy, or safety, of lithium aspartate and it is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of any medical condition. Published research on lithium aspartate is sparse.


    Lithium orotate, is a salt of orotic acid and lithium. It is available as the monohydrate, LiC5H3N2O4•H2O. In this compound, lithium is non-covalently bound to an orotate ion, rather than to a carbonate or other ion. It is marketed as a dietary supplement used in small doses to treat certain medical conditions, such as stress, bipolar disorder, depression, suicidal ideations, alcoholism, ADHD, attention deficit disorder, aggression, PTSD, Alzheimer's and to improve memory. Intake of elemental lithium has well documented positive neurological effects, and appears to be effective even in trace amounts.

    While lithium orotate is capable of providing elemental lithium to the body, like lithium carbonate and other lithium salts, there are no systematic reviews supporting the efficacy of lithium orotate and it is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of any medical condition. A 1979 study drew the mistaken conclusion that its use may in fact be harmful to kidney function compared to lithium carbonate. According to researcher Vickie Gunther, the study failed to take into account that much less lithium orotate is needed because of its higher efficacy verses lithium carbonate. A fairer comparison would have been to administer 8 times less lithium orotate than lithium carbonate, thereby lessening concerns of potential impaired kidney function. Lithium orotate has been promoted as an alternative to lithium carbonate, which because it must be used in high doses, is potentially toxic.

    In 1973, Nieper reported that lithium orotate contained 3.83 mg of elemental lithium per 100 mg and lithium carbonate contained 18.8 mg of elemental lithium per 100 mg. Nieper went on to claim that elemental lithium did not dissolve from the orotate carrier until it passed through the blood brain barrier, however a 1976 study documented that elemental lithium concentrations within the brains of rats were not statistically different between equivalent dosages of elemental lithium from lithium orotate, lithium carbonate, or lithium chloride. While this study was conducted with rats, it directly contradicts the aforementioned assumptions made by Nieper and others. The pharmacokinetics of lithium orotate in human brains is poorly documented and further inquiry is needed to affirm that lithium concentrations in the brain are higher with lithium orotate. Major medical research has not been conducted on lithium orotate since the 1980s due to its patent status and the abundant availability lithium carbonate. As previously stated, lithium intake appears to be effective even at low doses, and this may account for lithium orotates claimed effectiveness.

    It is heavily touted by Dr. John Gray, among others, as a low toxicity alternative. Although a few psychiatrists prescribe lithium orotate to their patients mostly for bipolar disorder, it is most often naturopaths and other alternative health practitioners who recommend this lithium compound to their patients.

    How Does Lithium Work? Exactly how lithium works is unknown, but it might help mental disorders by increasing the activity of chemical messengers in the brain. Lithium orotate is a natural dietary supplement that can be used in small doses to manage stress and treat conditions like depression, ADHD, PTSD and even Alzheimer's Disease. Many relationship problems and most addiction problems stem from a deficiency of amino acids and minerals in the body. One of the oldest and most researched treatments for emotional difficulties is the mineral, Lithium. It helps balance the production of two hormones, dopamine and serotonin.

    Lithum is needed in the brain but it is difficult to get Lithium into the brain. Some believe the best treatment for manic depression and bipolar disorder is to give a person 100 to 200 times more Lithium than the body needs with hopes that some amount of Lithium makes it to the brain. This often works but also results in unhealthy and painful side effects. If you take any mineral in amounts 100 to 200 times more than the body requires, you are asking for problems.

    In the 1970s, German doctors discovered that if you bind small quantities of the mineral, Lithium with Orotate salt, it could effectively deliver the necessary Lithium to the brain. It was also determined that the body only needs 4.5 milligrams of Lithium; not 500 milligrams, as is often prescribed and produces undesirable side effects. Lithium orotate is a dietary supplement that can be used in small doses to treat conditions like manic depression, alcoholism, ADHD and ADD, depression, aggression, PTSD, Alzheimer's Disease and overall stress management.

    Unlike lithium carbonate and lithium citrate, the common prescribed forms of lithium, lithium orotate is better absorbed into the brain, so you can take smaller doeses to feel better and have less side effects, if any. Lithium orotate is safer than lithium citrate or lithium carbonate because you can take less of it and still feel the best of lithium. Animal studies that compared lithium carbonate and lithium orotate found the concentrations of lithium orotate were three times higher in the brain than lithium carbonate. The FDA has approved Lithium Orotate for sale in America. Lithium Orotate has what is called a "GRAS" status, which means, "generally regarded as safe". This is the same status that natural food supplements have in the health food stores.

    If you cannot tolerate higher doses of lithium due to side effects you might try replacing it with lithium orotate. It requires no blood tests and side effects are pretty much non-existent. It is non-prescription and even at lower doses can be just as effective as the prescription forms of lithium. However, it is important to note some medical practitioners state there is currently a lack of scientific support for lithium orotate's effectiveness as an alternative to lithium.


    Lithium orotate is a substance that consists of lithium (an alkali metal) and orotic acid (a compound produced naturally in the body). Available in dietary supplement form, lithium orotate is touted as a natural treatment for a wide range of mental-health problems. Lithium orotate is often promoted as an alternative to lithium, a medication prescribed to treat and prevent episodes of mania in people with bipolar disorder. Lithium is said to treat and prevent manic episodes by reducing abnormal brain activity. Although orotic acid is sometimes referred to as vitamin B-13, it is not actually considered a vitamin. In the human body, orotic acid is produced from microorganisms found in the intestines.

    Some people use lithium orotate to avoid the adverse effects of lithium. These adverse effects include:

  • Acne
  • Bloating and/or gas
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Dry mouth
  • Hair loss
  • Indigestion

  • Joint pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Stomach pain
  • Weight gain
  • Weight loss

  • Lithium orotate is purported to treat and prevent the following conditions: alcoholism, Alzheimer's disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). bipolar disorder, cluster headaches, glaucoma, migraine, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, lithium orotate is used to reduce stress, relieve pain, and improve memory. Some patients with bipolar disorder also use lithium orotate in combination with lithium. Since orotic acid is thought to increase the body's absorption of lithium, it is thought that taking a combination of lithium orotate and lithium may allow patients to decrease their dosage of lithium (and, in turn, reduce some of the adverse effects associated with lithium).

    Research on the health effects of lithium orotate is very limited. Although a number of studies published in the 1970s and 1980s determined that lithium orotate may offer certain benefits, more recent research on lithium orotate is lacking. The available research on lithium orotate includes a small study published in the journal Alcohol in 1986. In a six-month-long experiment involving 42 people with alcoholism, researchers found that daily treatment with lithium orotate helped protect against relapses in alcoholism.

    Due to a lack research, little is known about the safety of long-term use of lithium orotate. However, there is some evidence that lithium orotate may have some toxic effects. For instance, a 2007 report published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology warns that chronic use of lithium orotate may cause nausea and tremors. There is also some concern that use of lithium orotate may lead to kidney damage. In addition, use of lithium orotate may cause adverse effects similar to those that result from lithium toxicity (a commonly occurring problem that has contributed to the development of newer drugs to take the place of lithium as a therapy for bipolar disorder). Along with nausea and vomiting, these adverse effects include cardiac arrhythmias and potentially permanent or long-lasting neurological problems (such as tremors, dementia, and ataxia). Due to the health risks associated with lithium toxicity, safe use of lithium requires periodic blood-testing to ensure that toxic levels of the drug are not being reached. Given these safety concerns, using lithium orotate without the supervision of a healthcare professional is strongly discouraged. It is also important to note that self-treating a chronic condition (such as bipolar disorder) with lithium orotate, and avoiding or delaying standard care, may have serious consequences. If you are considering the use of lithium orotate in treatment of a chronic condition, it is crucial to consult your health care practitioner before starting your supplement regimen.

    Lithium is considered effective for treating bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder). It is considered likely effective for major depression and possibly effective for schizophrenia and related mental disorders. Lithium is usually used in combination with antipsychotic drugs when it is used for these disorders. However, sometimes lithium is given alone. It is possibley effective for impulsive aggressive behavior associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). According to some medical sources, Lithiuim has insufficient evidence for treating alcohol dependence, blood cell disorders and other conditions. They state that more evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of lithium for these uses.


    Lithium is used primarily for bipolar disorder. It is sometimes used when other treatments are not effective in a number of other conditions include: major depression, schizophrenia, and some psychiatric disorders in children. In mood disorders, of which bipolar is one, it decreases the risk of suicide. This benefit is not seen with other medications.

    Lithium treatment was previously considered to be unsuitable for children; however, more recent studies show its effectiveness for treatment of early-onset bipolar disorder in children as young as eight. The required dosage is slightly less than the toxic level, requiring blood levels of lithium to be monitored closely during treatment. High doses of haloperidol, fluphenazine, or flupenthixol may be hazardous when used with lithium; irreversible toxic encephalopathy has been reported. A limited amount of evidence suggests lithium may contribute to treatment of substance abuse for some dual-disorder patients.


    Low levels of naturally occurring lithium in drinking water supplies may reduce suicide rates. In response, psychiatrist Peter Kramer suggested adding lithium to drinking water as a mineral supplement rather than as a therapeutic drug.


    Abstract Sartori HE.1986 Mar-Apr;3(2):97-100

    The subjects were 42 alcoholic patients (33 males and 9 females) who were treated with lithium orotate during an alcohol rehabilitation program in a private clinical setting for at least six months. They derive from a total number of 105 patients who received this treatment initially, while the remainder discontinued the treatment within six months. The data were collected from a private practice record and the follow-up varied between six months and 10 years. The 42 patients studied displayed a multitude of complaints in addition to chronic alcoholism. These included liver dysfunction, seizure disorders, headaches, hyperthyroidism, affective disorders. Meniere's syndrome, liver and lung cancers. Thirty-six of the 42 patients studied had been hospitalized at least once for the management of their alcoholism. Lithium orotate was given, 150 mg daily, with a diet low in simple carbohydrates and containing moderate amounts of protein and fat. In addition, calcium orotate (for hepatic involvement), magnesium orotate, bromelain, and essential phospholipids (for cardiac problems), and supportive measures were instituted, if required. Lithium orotate proved useful as the main pharmacologic agent for the treatment of alcoholism. Ten of the patients had no relapse for over three and up to 10 years, 13 patients remained without relapse for 1 to 3 years, and the remaining 12 had relapses between 6 to 12 months. Lithium orotate therapy was safe and the adverse side effects noted were minor, i.e., eight patients developed muscle weakness, loss of appetite or mild apathy. For these patients, the symptoms subsided when the daily dose was given 4 to 5 times weekly.


    Lithium was first used in the 19th century as a treatment for gout after scientists discovered, at least in the laboratory, lithium could dissolve uric acid crystals isolated from the kidneys. The levels of lithium needed to dissolve urate in the body, however, were toxic. Because of prevalent theories linking excess uric acid to a range of disorders, including depressive and manic disorders, Carl Lange in Denmark and William Alexander Hammond in New York used lithium to treat mania from the 1870s onwards. By the turn of the 20th century, this use of lithium was largely abandoned, according to Susan Greenfield, due to the reluctance of the pharmaceutical industry to invest in a drug that could not be patented.

    As accumulating knowledge indicated a role for excess sodium intake in hypertension and heart disease, lithium salts were prescribed to patients for use as a replacement for dietary table salt (sodium chloride). This practice was discontinued in 1949 when reports of side effects and deaths were published, leading to a ban of lithium sales.

    The use of lithium salts to treat mania was rediscovered by the Australian psychiatrist John Cade in 1949. Cade was injecting rodents with urine extracts taken from schizophrenic patients, in an attempt to isolate a metabolic compound which might be causing mental symptoms. Since uric acid in gout was known to be psychoactive (adenosine receptors on neurons are stimulated by it; caffeine blocks them), Cade needed soluble urate for a control. He used lithium urate, already known to be the most soluble urate compound, and observed it caused the rodents to be tranquilized. Cade traced the effect to the lithium ion itself. Soon, Cade proposed lithium salts as tranquilizers, and soon succeeded in controlling mania in chronically hospitalized patients with them. This was one of the first successful applications of a drug to treat mental illness, and it opened the door for the development of medicines for other mental problems in the next decades.

    The rest of the world was slow to adopt this treatment, largely because of deaths which resulted from even relatively minor overdosing, including those reported from use of lithium chloride as a substitute for table salt. Largely through the research and other efforts of Denmark's Mogens Schou and Paul Baastrup in Europe, and Samuel Gershon and Baron Shopsin in the U.S., this resistance was slowly overcome. The application of lithium in manic illness was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in 1970. In 1974, this application was extended to its use as a preventive agent for manic-depressive illness.

    Lithium has become a part of Western popular culture. Characters in Pi, Premonition, Stardust Memories, American Psycho, Garden State, and An Unmarried Woman all take lithium. Sirius XM Satellite Radio in North America has a 1990s alternative rock station called Lithium, and several songs refer to the use of lithium as a mood stabilizer. These include: Lithium Lips by Mac Lethal, Equilibrium met Lithium by South African artist Koos Kombuis, Lithium by Evanescence, Lithium by Nirvana, Lithium and a Lover by Sirenia, Lithium Sunset, from the album Mercury Falling by Sting, and Lithium by Thin White Rope.


    As with cocaine in Coca-Cola, lithium was widely marketed as one of a number of patent medicine products popular in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, and was the medicinal ingredient of a refreshment beverage. Charles Leiper Grigg, who launched his St. Louis-based company The Howdy Corporation, invented a formula for a lemon-lime soft drink in 1920. The product, originally named "Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda", was launched two weeks before the Wall Street Crash of 1929. It contained the mood stabilizer lithium citrate, and was one of a number of patent medicine products popular in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. Its name was soon changed to 7 Up. All American beverage makers were forced to remove lithium in 1948. Despite the 1948 ban, the Painesville Telegraph Jul 13, 1950 page 28 has an ad for a lithiated lemon beverage.


    There is tentative evidence that lithium may prevent Alzheimer's disease and may change disease progress in those with early symptoms. In the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) it has failed to produce positive results.

    lithium rich foods


    Lithium is one of the most important elements in the human body. It is needed to protect the brain against damage from oxidative stress. For example, studies have shown some benefit with natural lithium supplements for people with Alzheimer's disease, other dementias, and those taking psycho-active medications. It can help produce an increase in the strength and quality of the tissues that is quite subtle, but important in some cases. Lithium is also used in every cell of the body for subtle functions, some of which have to do with mental development or enhancement of the brain. Some patients have reported pain relief when they took lithium orotate or lithium aspartate.


    There are several natural sources of lithium. Your lithium intake may depend on the foods you eat and the soil where these foods are grown. A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition states that lithium may be important for early fetal development, and for the proper functioning of enzymes, hormones and vitamins. This study states that a tentative RDA is set at 1,000 mcg per day for an adult who weighs 70 kilograms, or about 154 pounds. Lithium is also used as a medication to manage bipolar disorder. It decreases abnormal brain activity, accoring to Medline Plus. The best sources of lithium are foods.
    • Mustards of all kinds, particularly organic mustard.
    • Kelp. A kelp supplement of about 1900 to 4000 mg daily is often recommended.
    • Sardines, and other fish and sea products are good sources, but we only recommend sardines due to mercury contamination of all products from the sea.
    • Animal products. Although the majority of lithium is found in plant sources, lithium may also be obtained from animal food sources. Eggs and milk contain the highest concentrations of lithium. The study in the "Journal of the American College of Nutrition" reports that a food intake of 0.44 kilograms of dairy foods per day has a lithium content of 0.50 milligrams/kilograms. Meat also contains lithium. If you eat 0.21 kilograms of meat per day, you will get a lithium content of 0.012 milligrams/kilograms.
    • Blue corn, but only the blue corn, not other varieties of corn to the same degree.
    • Raw or roasted pistachio nuts are also a good source of lithium, but only a few every few days. Do not overdo on this food.
    • Grains and vegetables - Lithium is naturally present in many grains and vegetables. According to a study published in the "Journal of the American College of Nutrition," grains and vegetables may comprise 66 to 90 percent of a person's lithium intake. If you eat 0.85 kilograms of fruits and vegetables, the lithium level is 0.5 to 3.4 milligrams/kilograms. The study states that a diet rich in vegetables and grains may provide you with more lithium than a diet rich in animal products. However, the amount of lithium varies, depending on the amount in the soil where the plants grow. Among plants, lithium is retained most easily in foods of the nightshade family of plants, which include tomatoes and cucumbers and mushrooms. Seaweed and kelp often contain high levels of lithium.
    • Noni juice has some lithium.


  • Soil and Water. Lithium occurs naturally in soil. From the soil, plants take up lithium, and when you consume plant foods you receive this lithium content. Lithium can also be obtained from water sources. The "Journal of the American College of Nutrition" states that 1 to 10 micrograms of lithium have been found in surface water, while 0.18 micrograms/Liter of lithium has been found in sea water.


  • Lithium dietary supplements. Some people need more lithium than they can obtain in foods. Common supplements are lithium orotate or lithium aspartate.


    Soft Cheese


    Red Cabbage
    White Cabbage


    Black Tea


    Instant Soups
    Wheat Flour
    Toasted Bread
    Vanilla Pudding
    Bread Rolls
    Red Wine
    White Wine



    There is no specific bipolar diet. Nevertheless, it is important to make wise dietary choices that will help you maintain a healthy weight and stay well. These choices include:
    • Avoiding the "Western" style diet that is rich in red meats, saturated fats and trans fats, and simple carbohydrates. This eating style is linked to a higher risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Eating less saturated fats and simple carbohydrates can help overall health but does not directly affect the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
    • Eating a balance of protective, nutrient-dense foods. These foods include fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, lean meats, cold-water fish, eggs, low-fat dairy, soy products, and nuts and seeds. These foods provide the levels of nutrients necessary to maintain good health and prevent disease.
    • Watching caloric intake and exercising regularly to maintain a healthy weight. Some findings show that those with bipolar disorder may have a greater risk for being overweight or obese. Talk to your health care practitioner about ways to avoid weight gain when taking bipolar medications.


    Does fish oil improve mood with bipolar disorder? The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating fatty fish at least two times a week. Good choices include:
    • Albacore Tuna
    • Herring
    • Mackerel
    • Salmon
    • Trout

    If you do not like fish, the AHA recommends taking 0.5 to 1.8 grams of fish oil per day as supplements. That way you will get enough eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

    Fish oil can help keep your heart healthy. But some experts also believe that fish oil is an important bipolar supplement and that it plays a key role in brain function and behavior. These experts report that omega-3 fatty acids may be helpful for those with bipolar disorder, particularly if they have an higher risk of cardiovascular disease or high triglycerides. Some research suggests that a getting more omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil is linked to greater volume in areas of the brain. In particular, these areas are related to mood and behavior. Results from one study of 75 patients describe the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids compared to a placebo. The benefits included decreasing depression in bipolar disorder. Still, the overall evidence for benefit of fish oil in bipolar disorder is inconsistent. More studies are needed before fish oil can be recommended for bipolar disorder.

    If you are a vegetarian or vegan looking for possible benefits of fish oil, go with nuts. Walnuts, flaxseed, and canola oil contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is converted to omega-3 fatty acid in the body.


    Some general dietary recommendations for treating bipolar disorder include:
    • Getting only moderate amounts of caffeine and not stopping caffeine use abruptly. Avoiding too much caffeine may be helpful for getting good sleep, which is especially important for people with bipolar disorder. When someone with bipolar disorder is feeling depressed, extra caffeine can help that person boost the low mood. The problem is caffeine can disrupt sleep. Caffeine can also lower the sedative effects of medications, such as benzodiazepines, that are used to treat anxiety and mania associated with bipolar disorder.
    • Avoiding high-fat meals to lower the risk for obesity. In addition to lowering caffeine, it is important to avoid high-fat meals with some bipolar medications. High-fat meals may delay the time it takes for some bipolar medications to take effect. Talk to your health care practitioner about your medications and necessary dietary changes.
    • Watching your salt if you have high blood pressure but not skimping on salt if you are being prescribed lithium since low salt intake can cause higher levels of lithium in the blood.
    • Following your health care provider's instructions to stay away from foods that may affect your specific bipolar medication, if any. In addition, you need to be wary of natural dietary supplements that can cause a drug-herb interaction.
    • If you take MAO inhibitors (a certain class of antidepressant that includes Emsam, Nardil, and Parnate), it is important to avoid tyramine-containing foods. These foods can cause severe hypertension in people taking MAO inhibitors. Some foods high in tyramine include overly ripe bananas and banana peels, tap beer, fermented cheese, aged meats, some wines, such as Chianti, and soy sauce in high quantities. Your health care provider can give you a list of foods to avoid if you take these drugs.
    • Avoid taking natural dietary supplements if you are taking bipolar medications. Supplements such as St. John's wort and SAM-e are touted to treat moderate depression. A few studies show benefit for some people with depression. But these natural therapies can interact with antidepressants and other bipolar medications. Discuss any natural dietary supplement with your health care practitioner to make sure it is safe.
    • Instructions for most psychiatric medications warn users not to drink alcohol, but people with bipolar disorder frequently abuse alcohol and other drugs. The abuse is possibly an attempt to self-medicate or to treat their disturbing mood symptoms, and they may also cause mood symptoms that can mimic those of bipolar disorder. Alcohol is a depressant. That is why many people use it as a tranquilizer at the end of a hard day or as an assist for tense social situations. While some patients stop drinking when they are depressed, it is more common that someone with bipolar disorder drinks during low moods. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people with bipolar disorder are five times more likely to develop alcohol misuse and dependence than the rest of the population. The link between bipolar disorder and substance abuse is explosive. Alcohol is a leading trigger of depressive episodes in many people who are genetically vulnerable for depression or bipolar disorder. About 15 percent of all adults who have a psychiatric illness in any given year also experience a co-occurring substance abuse disorder. This disorder can seriously complicate treatment.
    • Grapefruit juice should be consumed cautiously. Be careful. Talk to your health care practitioner or pharmacist about eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice with your bipolar medication. Grapefruit juice may increase the blood levels of certain bipolar medications. This includes some anticonvulsants. Taking benzodiazepines - Klonopin, Xanax, Valium, Ativan - with grapefruit juice may cause excessive impairment and even toxicity.

    Each bipolar medication is different. So talk with your health care practitioner or pharmacist before taking the first dose. Some bipolar drugs can be taken with or without food. Others are less effective if taken with food. Your health care practitioner or pharmacist can pull the latest recommendations on taking the bipolar medication so you can safely take the medicine and get the full benefit of the drug.

    MoonDragon's Womens Health Disorders: Depression
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness Disorders: Manic Depression



    Those who use lithium should receive regular serum level tests and should monitor thyroid and kidney function for abnormalities, as it interferes with the regulation of sodium and water levels in the body, and can cause dehydration. Dehydration, which is compounded by heat, can result in increasing lithium levels. The dehydration is due to lithium inhibition of the action of antidiuretic hormone, which normally enables the kidney to reabsorb water from urine. This causes an inability to concentrate urine, leading to consequent loss of body water and thirst.

    Lithium concentrations in whole blood, plasma, serum or urine may be measured using instrumental techniques as a guide to therapy, to confirm the diagnosis in potential poisoning victims or to assist in the forensic investigation in a case of fatal overdosage. Serum lithium concentrations are usually in the 0.5 to 1.3 mmol/Liter range in well-controlled patients, but may increase to 1.8 to 2.5 mmol/Liter in patients who accumulate the drug over time and to 3 to 10 mmol/Liter in victims of acute overdosage.

    Lithium salts have a narrow therapeutic/toxic ratio, so should not be prescribed unless facilities for monitoring plasma concentrations are available. Patients should be carefully selected. Doses are adjusted to achieve plasma concentrations of 0.4 to 1.2 mmol Li+/Liter (lower end of the range for maintenance therapy and elderly patients, higher end for pediatric patients) on samples taken 12 hours after the preceding dose.


    The following oral doses (taken by mouth) have been studied in scientific research:
    • For Acute Manic Episodes: 1.8 g or 20 to 30 mg per kg of lithium carbonate per day in 2 to 3 divided doses. Some healthcare providers begin therapy at 600 to 900 mg per day and gradually increase the dose.
    • For Bipolar Disorder & Other Psychiatric Conditions: The usual adult dose is 900 mg to 1.2 g per day in 2 to 4 divided doses. 24 to 32 mEq of lithium citrate solution, given in 2 to 4 divided doses daily, has also been used. Doses usually should not exceed 2.4 g of lithium carbonate or 65 mEq lithium citrate daily. For children, 15 to 60 mg per kg (0.4 to 1.6 mEq per kg) per day in divided doses has been used.

    Lithium may be given as a single daily dose, but is usually given in divided doses to lessen side effects.

    Stopping lithium therapy suddenly increases the chance that symptoms of bipolar disorder will return. The dose of lithium should be reduced gradually over at least 14 days.

    There is no recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for lithium. A provisional RDA of 1 mg per day for a 70 kg adult has been suggested.



    Lithium seems to be safe for most people when taken appropriately with careful monitoring by a healthcare provider. Lithium carbonate and lithium citrate have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But not enough is known about the safety of lithium orotate and should be used under the quidance of a health care practitioner.

    Lithium can cause nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, muscle weakness, fatigue, and a dazed feeling. These unwanted side effects often improve with continued use. Fine tremor, frequent urination, and thirst can occur and may persist with continued use. Weight gain and swelling from excess fluid can also occur. Lithium can also cause or make skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis, and rashes worse. The amount of lithium in the body must be carefully controlled and is checked by blood tests.


    Pregnancy & Breast-feeding: Lithium can poison a developing baby (fetus) and can increase the risk of birth defects, including heart problems. However, when the benefits of giving lithium to the mother outweigh the risks to the fetus, lithium may be given by a healthcare provider, as long as there is careful monitoring. Lithium treatment is UNSAFE in women who are breast-feeding. Lithium can enter breast milk and cause unwanted side effects in a nursing infant.

    Heart Disease: Lithium may cause irregular heart rhythms. This may be a problem, especially for people who have heart disease.

    Kidney Disease: Lithium is removed from the body by the kidneys. In people with kidney disease, the amount of lithium that is given might need to be reduced.

    Surgery: Lithium might change levels of serotonin, a chemical that affects the central nervous system. There is some concern that lithium might interfere with surgical procedures that often involve anesthesia and other drugs that affect the central nervous system. Lithium use should be stopped, with the approval of a healthcare provider, at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

    Thyroid Disease: Lithium might make thyroid problems worse.


    Very Common (Greater Than 10% Incidence) Adverse Effects of Lithium:
    • Leukocytosis (elevated white blood cell count)
    • Polyuria / Polydypsia (increased thirst and urination)
    • Dry Mouth
    • Hand Tremor (usually transient but it can persist in some patients)
    • Headache
    • Decreased Memory
    • Confusion
    • Muscle Weakness (usually transient, but can persist in some)
    • ECG Changes (usually benign changes in T waves)
    • Nausea (usually transient, but can persist in some)
    • Vomiting (usually transient, but can persist in some)
    • Diarrhea (usually transient, but can persist in some)
    • Constipation (usually transient, but can persist in some)
    • Muscle Twitch
    • Hyperreflexia (overresponsive reflexes)
    • Vertigo

    Common (1 to 10% Incidence) Adverse Effects:
    • Extrapyramidal Side Effects (movement-related problems such as muscle rigidity, parkinsonism, dystonia, etc.)
    • Euthyroid Goiter (i.e. the formation of a goiter despite normal thyroid functioning)
    • Hypothyroidism (a deficiency of thyroid hormone)
    • Acne
    • Hair Loss / Hair Thinning

    Rare / Uncommon (Less Than 1%) Adverse Effects:
    • Renal (Kidney) Toxicity (which may lead to chronic kidney failure)
    • Renal Interstitial Fibrosis
    • Seizure
    • Coma
    • Hallucinations
    • Erythema Multiforme (a potentially fatal skin reaction)
    • Brugada Syndrome (a potentially fatal abnormality in the electrical activity of the heart)
    • Sinus Node Dysfunction
    • Transient Reduction in Peripheral Circulation (as a whole)
    • Pseudotumor cerebri
    • Increased Intracranial Pressure & Papilledema
    • Edema
    • Myasthenia Gravis (an autoimmune condition where the body's own defences attack the neuromuscular junction - the gap across which the nerves communicate with the muscles - leading to muscle weakness)
    • Hyperthyroidism (elevated blood concentrations of thyroid hormones)
    • Hypercalcemia (elevated blood levels of calcium)
    • Hypermagnesemia (elevated blood levels of magnesium)
    • Hyperparathyroidism (elevated blood levels of parathyroid hormone)

    Unknown Frequency Adverse Effects:
    • Somnolence
    • Sexual Dysfunction (including impotence, vaginal dryness, erectile dysfunction, etc.)
    • Flatulence
    • Indigestion
    • Gastritis
    • Abdominal Pain
    • Glycosuria (glucose /blood sugar in the urine)
    • Decreased Creatinine Clearance (a sign of impaired kidney function)
    • Albuminuria (protein in the urine another sign of impaired kidney function)
    • Oliguria (low urine output although excess urine output is more likely)
    • Changes In Taste
    • Slurred Speech
    • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
    • Bradycardia (low heart rate)
    • Nystagmus (involuntary eye movements that can interfere with vision)
    • Weight gain or loss (gain more common with prolonged treatment)

    According to an Australian study, "The incidence of hypothyroidism is six-fold higher in patients on lithium as compared to the general population. Hypothyroidism in turn increases the likelihood of developing clinical depression."

    Lithium is known to be responsible for 1 to 2 kg of weight gain. Weight gain may be a source of low self-esteem for the clinically depressed. Because lithium competes with the receptors for the antidiuretic hormone in the kidney, it increases water output into the urine, a condition called nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. Clearance of lithium by the kidneys is usually successful with certain diuretic medications, including amiloride and triamterene. It increases the appetite and thirst (polydypsia) and reduces the activity of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism). The latter can be corrected by treatment with thyroxine. Lithium is also believed to permanently affect renal function, although this does not appear to be common.

    Lithium is a well-known cause of downbeat nystagmus, which may be permanent or require several months of abstinence for improvement.

    Most side effects of lithium are dose-dependent. The lowest effective dose is used to limit the risk of side effects.


    Lithium is also a teratogen, causing birth defects in a small number of newborn babies. Case reports and several retrospective studies have demonstrated possible increases in the rate of a congenital heart defect known as Ebstein's anomaly, if taken during a woman's pregnancy. As a consequence, fetal echocardiography is routinely performed in pregnant women taking lithium to exclude the possibility of cardiac anomalies. Lamotrigine seems to be a possible alternative to lithium in pregnant women. Gabapentin and clonazepam are also indicated as antipanic medications during the childbearing years and during pregnancy. Valproic acid and carbamazepine also tend to be associated with teratogenicity.


    Dehydration in patients taking lithium salts can be very hazardous, especially when combined with lithium induced nephrogenic diabetes insipidus with polyuria. Such situations include preoperative fluid regimen or other fluid inaccessibility, warm weather conditions, sporting events, and hiking.

    Another danger is that rapid hydration may very quickly produce hyponatremia with its danger of toxic lithium concentrations in plasma.


    Lithium toxicity may occur in persons taking excessive amounts either accidentally or intentionally on an acute basis or in patients who accumulate high levels during ongoing chronic therapy. The manifestations include nausea, emesis, diarrhea, asthenia, ataxia, confusion, lethargy, polyuria, seizures and coma. Other toxic effects of lithium include coarse tremor, muscle twitching, convulsions and renal failure. People who survive a poisoning episode may develop persistent neurotoxicity. Several authors have described a "Syndrome of Irreversible Lithium-Effected Neurotoxicity" (SILENT), associated with episodes of acute lithium toxicity or long-term treatment within the appropriate dosage range. Symptoms are said to include cerebellar dysfunction.

    Overdosage, usually with plasma concentrations over 1.5 mmol Li+/l, may be fatal, and toxic effects include tremor, ataxia, dysarthria, nystagmus, renal impairment, confusion, and convulsions. If these potentially hazardous signs occur, treatment should be stopped, plasma lithium concentrations redetermined, and steps taken to reverse lithium toxicity. Lithium toxicity is compounded by sodium depletion. Concurrent use of diuretics that inhibit the uptake of sodium by the distal tubule (e.g. thiazides) is hazardous and should be avoided because this can cause increased resorption of lithium in the proximal convoluted tubule, leading to elevated, potentially toxic levels. In mild cases, withdrawal of lithium and administration of generous amounts of sodium and fluid will reverse the toxicity. Plasma concentrations in excess of 2.5 mmol Li+/l are usually associated with serious toxicity requiring emergency treatment. When toxic concentrations are reached, there may be a delay of one or two days before maximum toxicity occurs.

    In long-term use, therapeutic concentrations of lithium have been thought to cause histological and functional changes in the kidney. The significance of such changes is not clear, but is of sufficient concern to discourage long-term use of lithium unless it is definitely indicated. Health care practitioners may change a bipolar patient's medication from lithium to another mood-stabilizing drug, such as valproate (Depakote), if problems with the kidneys arise. An important potential consequence of long-term lithium use is the development of renal diabetes insipidus (inability to concentrate urine). Patients should therefore be maintained on lithium treatment after three to five years only if, on assessment, benefit persists. Conventional and sustained-release tablets are available. Preparations vary widely in bioavailability, and a change in the formulation used requires the same precautions as initiation of treatment. There are few reasons to prefer any one simple salt of lithium; the carbonate has been the more widely used, but the citrate is also available.


    Unlike many other psychoactive drugs, Li+ typically produces no obvious psychotropic effects (such as euphoria) in normal individuals at therapeutic concentrations. Recent research suggests three different mechanisms which may or may not act together to deliver the mood-stabilizing effect of this ion. The excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate could be involved in the effect of lithium as other mood stabilizers, such as valproate and lamotrigine, exert influence over glutamate, suggesting a possible biological explanation for mania. The other mechanisms by which lithium might help to regulate mood include the alteration of gene expression.

    Lithium may also increase the release of serotonin by neurons in the brain. In vitro studies performed on serotonergic neurons from rat raphe nuclei have shown that when these neurons are treated with lithium, serotonin release is enhanced during a depolarization compared to no lithium treatment and the same depolarization.

    An unrelated mechanism of action has been proposed in which lithium deactivates the GSK3β enzyme. This enzyme normally phosphorylates the Rev-Erbα transcription factor protein stabilizing it against degradation. Rev-Erbα in turn represses BMAL1, a component of the circadian clock. Hence, lithium by inhibiting GSK3β causes the degradation of Rev-Erbα and increases the expression of BMAL which dampens the circadian clock. Through this mechanism, lithium is able to block the resetting of the "master clock" inside the brain; as a result, the body's natural cycle is disrupted. When the cycle is disrupted, the routine schedules of many functions (metabolism, sleep, body temperature) are disturbed. Lithium may thus restore normal brain function after it is disrupted in some people.

    Several authors proposed that pAp-phosphatase could be one of the therapeutic targets of lithium. This hypothesis was supported by the low Ki of lithium for human pAp-phosphatase compatible within the range of therapeutic concentrations of lithium in the plasma of patients (0.8 to 1 mM). Importantly, the Ki of human pAp-phosphatase is ten times lower than that of GSK3β (glycogen synthase kinase 3β). Inhibition of pAp-phosphatase by lithium leads to increased levels of pAp (3'-5' phosphoadenosine phosphate), which was shown to inhibit PARP-1.

    Another mechanism proposed in 2007 is that lithium may interact with nitric oxide (NO) signalling pathway in the central nervous system, which plays a crucial role in the neural plasticity. The NO system could be involved in the antidepressant effect of lithium in the Porsolt forced swimming test in mice. It was also reported that NMDA receptor blockage augments antidepressant-like effects of lithium in the mouse forced swimming test, indicating the possible involvement of NMDA receptor/NO signaling in the action of lithium in this animal model of learned helplessness.

    Lithium treatment has been found to inhibit the enzyme inositol monophosphatase, leading to higher levels of inositol triphosphate. This effect was enhanced further with an inositol triphosphate reuptake inhibitor. Inositol disruptions have been linked to memory impairment and depression.


    Lithium concentrations are known to be increased with concurrent use of diuretics - especially loop diuretics (such as furosemide) and thiazides - and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Lithium is also known to be a potential precipitant of serotonin syndrome in patients concurrently on serotonergic medications such as antidepressants, buspirone and certain opioids (e.g. pethidine [meperidine in the US], tramadol, oxycodone, fentanyl, etc.). Lithium co-treatment is also a risk factor for neuroleptic malignant syndrome in patients on antipsychotics and other antidopaminergic medications.

    Major Interaction - Do not take this combination.

  • Medications for Depression (Antidepressant Drugs) Interacts With Lithium: Lithium increases a brain chemical called serotonin. Some medications for depression also increase the brain chemical serotonin. Taking lithium along with these medications for depression might increase serotonin too much and cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety. Do not take lithium if you are taking medications for depression. Some of these medications for depression include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Tofranil), and others.

  • Medications for Depression (MAOIs) Interacts With Lithium: Lithium increases a chemical in the brain. This chemical is called serotonin. Some medications used for depression also increase serotonin. Taking lithium with these medications used for depression might cause there to be too much serotonin. This could cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety. Some of these medications used for depression include phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and others.

  • Moderate Interaction - Be Cautious With This Combination

  • Dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, & Others) Interacts With Lithium: Lithium can affect a brain chemical called serotonin. Dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, others) can also affect serotonin. Taking lithium along with dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, others) might cause too much serotonin in the brain and serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety could result. Do not take lithium if you are taking dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM, and others).

  • Medications for High Blood Pressure (ACE Inhibitors) Interacts With Lithium: Some medications for high blood pressure can increase lithium levels in the body. Taking lithium along with some medications for high blood pressure might cause too much lithium to be in the body. Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), ramipril (Altace), and others.

  • Medications for High Blood Pressure (Calcium Channel Blockers) Interacts With Lithium: Lithium is commonly used to help fix chemical imbalances in the brain. Some medications for high blood pressure might increase the side effects of lithium, and decrease the amount of lithium in the body. Some medications for high blood pressure include nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan), diltiazem (Cardizem), isradipine (DynaCirc), felodipine (Plendil), amlodipine (Norvasc), and others.

  • Medications Used To Prevent Seizures (Anticonvulsants) Interacts With Lithium: Medications used to prevent seizures affect chemicals in the brain. Lithium is commonly used to help fix chemical imbalances in the brain. Taking lithium along with some medications used for seizures might increase the side effects of lithium. Some medications used to prevent seizures include phenobarbital, primidone (Mysoline), valproic acid (Depakene), gabapentin (Neurontin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), and others.

  • Meperidine (Demerol) Interacts With Lithium: Lithium increases a chemical in the brain called serotonin. Meperidine (Demerol) can also increase serotonin in the brain. Taking lithium along with meperidine (Demerol) might cause too much serotonin in the brain and serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety.

  • Methyldopa (Aldomet) interacts With Lithium: Taking methyldopa might increase the effects and side effects of lithium. Do not take lithium if you are taking methyldopa unless prescribed by your healthcare professional.

  • Methylxanthines Interacts With Lithium: Taking methylxanthines can increase how quickly the body gets rid of lithium. This could decrease how well lithium works. Methylxanthines include aminophylline, caffeine, and theophylline.

  • Muscle Relaxants Interacts With Lithium: Lithium might increase how long muscle relaxants work. Taking lithium along with muscle relaxants might increase the effects and side effects of muscle relaxants. Some of these muscle relaxants include carisoprodol (Soma), pipecuronium (Arduan), orphenadrine (Banflex, Disipal), cyclobenzaprine, gallamine (Flaxedil), atracurium (Tracrium), pancuronium (Pavulon), succinylcholine (Anectine), and others.

  • NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) Interacts With Lithium: NSAIDs are anti-inflammatory medications used for decreasing pain and swelling. NSAIDs might increase lithium levels in the body. Taking lithium along with NSAIDs might increase the risk of lithium side effects. Avoid taking lithium supplements and NSAIDs at the same time. Some NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin, others), indomethacin (Indocin), naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn), piroxicam (Feldene), aspirin, and others.

  • Phenothiazines Interacts With Lithium: Taking phenothiazines along with lithium might decrease the effectiveness of lithium. Lithium might also decrease the effectiveness of phenothiazines. Some phenothiazines include chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin), trifluoperazine (Stelazine), thioridazine (Mellaril), and others.

  • Tramadol (Ultram) Interacts With Lithium: Tramadol (Ultram) can affect a chemical in the brain called serotonin. Lithium can also affect serotonin. Taking lithium along with tramadol (Ultram) might cause too much serotonin in the brain causing confusion, shivering, stiff muscles and other side effects.

  • Water Pills (Loop Diuretics) Interacts With Lithium: Some water pills can increase how much sodium the body gets rid of in the urine. Decreasing sodium in the body can increase lithium levels in the body and increase the effects and side effects of lithium.

  • Water Pills (Thiazide Diuretics) Interacts With Lithium: Taking lithium with some water pills can increase the amount of lithium in the body. This can cause serious side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking lithium before taking water pills. Some types of water pills include chlorothiazide (Diuril), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL, Esidrix), indapamide (Lozol), metolazone (Zaroxolyn), and chlorthalidone (Hygroton).

  • Minor Interaction - Be Watchful With This Combination

  • Pentazocine (Talwin) Interacts With Lithium: Lithium increases a brain chemical called serotonin. Pentazocine (Talwin) also increases serotonin. Taking lithium along with pentazocine (Talwin) might cause too much serotonin in the body. Taking lithium along with pentazocine (Talwin) might cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety. Do not take lithium supplements if you are taking pentazocine (Talwin).


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  • Lithium Supplement Products


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    Lithium is a trace mineral that has long been used to treat bipolar (manic) depression. Medical lithium is available by prescription only. Lithium orotate is an organic form of lithium that is available as a dietary supplement. High doses of lithium depress dopamine release, flattening elevated moods; lower doses stimulate serotonin synthesis, producing an antidepressant effect. Lithium reputedly is also neuroprotective, suggesting its use in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It is thought to lower blood glucose levels and to have immune-enhancing and antiviral effects (especially against herpes simplex). Nieper used lithium orotate to treat depression, headaches, migraine, epilepsy, and alcoholism.


    HerbsPro: Lithia Water, Heritage Products, 4 fl oz

    A natural source of lithium chloride (0.32 grams per serving). For Adults, mix 1.5 teaspoons to 8 ounces liquid. (May also add 4 ounce bottle to 1 gallon liquid.) One 8 ounce glass of prepared Lithia Water can be taken as often as once daily. shake well before using.
    HerbsPro: Best Lithium Aspartate, Doctors Best, 120 VCaps (86517)
    HerbsPro: Best Lithium Orotate, Doctors Best, 200 Tabs ((86516)
    HerbsPro: Lithium Orotate, NCI Dr Hans Nieper, 120 mg, 200 Tabs


    Kalyx: Lithium Orotate, NCI Dr. Hans Nieper, 120 mg, 200 Tablets: HF
    Formulated by Hans A Nieper, MD. of Hannover, Germany Dietary Supplement Made in the USA Suggested Use As an addition to the daily diet, take one tablet twice a day with meals or as directed by your health care professional.
    Kalyx: Advanced Colloidal Trace Minerals (With Lithium), FutureBiotics, 4 fl oz: HF
    Futurebiotics Advanced Colloidal Trace Minerals is a high-quality, chemical-free, multi-mineral supplement that consists of ultra-fine, microscopic mineral particles suspended in pure, deionized water for easy absorption by the body. The colloidal form is one of the most bioavailable forms of supplementation and is the perfect choice for individuals who dislike or have difficulty swallowing pills or capsules. Advanced Colloidal Trace Minerals are a very effective way of getting the trace elements your body needs for the vital role they play in supporting good health, with no aluminum, cyanide, lead, arsenic or other harmful heavy metals. The trace mineral amounts in Advanced Colloidal Trace Minerals are reported in ppm (parts per million) per teaspoon. For comparison purposes, microgram equivalents are as follows:

    Trace Mineral
    ppm per teaspoon
    mcg per teaspoon


    Amazon: Lithium Supplement Products

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