Patient Booklet

Lithium

*Lithium is used to treat or prevent episodes of Mania in people like Manic Depression, Recurrent Depression, and Bipolar Depression.

*Lithium is also called as Licab; Lithosun; Eskalith; Intalith, Lithium carbonate and Available as TABLETS.

*Important Warning

Before Taking Lithium Your Doctor Must Know:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast feeding.
  • If you are suffering from heart problems.
  • If you have kidney problems.
  • If you suffer from psoriasis.
  • If you are suffering from Addison's disease.
  • If you have Thyroid problems.

Storage of this Medication

  • Keep the medication's container tightly closed.
  • Keep it out of reach of children.
  • Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture.

Lithium is used to treat and prevent episodes of mania in people with bipolar disorder or certain types of disorder. Lithium is in a class of medications called antimanic agents. It works by decreasing abnormal activity in the brain. Lithium is known as very effective medicine and has been used for more than 50 years. So let's just discuss how to take lithium

How Should this Medicine be used

A specialist will start your Lithium treatment and take blood samples to make sure they have prescribed the correct dose. Once you have begun treatment, you need to have regular blood tests (sometimes called 'a Lithium level', a 'serum Lithium level' or a 'plasma Lithium level'). When your Lithium level has stabilized this type of test will be needed less often. This test is important because it tells the doctor how much Lithium is in the bloodstream, checking that your dosage is at the correct level. Blood tests are needed more often in the early stages of treatment or if your dosage has changed.

Swallo the extended release tablets: Do not split, Chew or crush it

Important: your pharmacist should supply you with the same brand of Lithium each time you receive a new prescription. If the medicine you have been given looks different to usual, speak to your pharmacist before taking any of them. This is because different brands give different blood levels of Lithium.
Do not stop taking Lithium without speaking with your doctor first. Your doctor may increase or decrease the dose of medication during the treatment. Follow these instructions carefully.

What side effects lithium can cause

1. Shakiness Your hands may be a little shaky. If affected avoid tasks that need very fine movements where possible.

2. Reduced Coordination If affected avoid tasks that require co-ordination such as driving or operating machinery.

3. Nausea- After a few days your body will adjust to your new medicine and this side effect should improve. Needing to pass water more often than normal - If you are affected you may just need to plan ahead a little, for example, is there a toilet that you can easily use when you are at work or going about your daily business? You should still continue to drink plenty of water.

Warning: some side effects may be serious, if you experience blurred vision, loss of appetite, being sick, diarrhea, muscle weakness, drowsiness, feeling of being slow, excessive shakiness, a total lack of co-ordination, fainting, inability to urinate (pass water), slurred speech or convulsions (fits)then immediately call your doctor or get medical emergency help.

Sodium Valproate

It is a medication that primarily used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder and to prevent migraine headaches. Sodium Valproate is also used in treatment of psychiatric disorders like Manic Episode, Bipolar Affective Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder and Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Sodium Valproate is available in plain or enteric coated tablet and injection form.

What to know before using sodium valproate:

Tell your doctor if you have any medical conditions before taking Valproate especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • If you are planning for become pregnant or already pregnant and breast feeding.
  • If anyone or you ever suffered from liver problems.
  • Suffering from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), kidney problem or Diabetes.
  • If you are suffering from Porphyria.
  • If you have allergies to medicines, foods or other substances.
  • If you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicines, herbal preparations or dietary supplements.

How to use sodium valproate

  • Use Valproate as directed by your doctor and check the label of the medicine for exact dosing instruction.
  • Your doctor will reduce the dose if necessary so never stop taking the sodium Valproate before consulting your doctor.
  • If its looks someone is suffering with the same problem as yours still never give your sodium Valproate to him.
  • Valproate works best if it is used at the same time each day.
  • Do not miss any doses and do not take more than prescribed dose. If someone takes over dose then immediately consult to your doctor or get emergency medical help.
  • Sodium Valproate enteric coated and modified release tablets must be swallowed whole with a glass of water.

POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF SODIUM VALPROATE

Some medicines may cause side effects but many people not get affected with it or get minor side effects. Consult your doctor if any of the following symptoms continue or become troublesome.

Tummy upset, feeling sick, unsteadiness, shakiness, confusion, increased appetite and weight gain, water retention (e.g. swollen ankles), thinning of the hair, skin rashes, irregular periods or none at all.

Some Advices for Women

  • If you are pregnant then consult your doctor before taking Valproate.
  • If you are already using sodium Valproate and planning to have a baby then take your doctor's advice concerning the risk of harm to unborn baby.
  • Women who are planning a family should seek advice about folic acid supplements before stopping contraception.

General Information

  • Store at dry place and keep away from excess heat and moisture.
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Throw away if medication is outdated or no longer needed.
  • Ask your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

Important:

If you experience any other worrying symptoms, which you think may be due to this medicine, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.