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Lithium for Bipolar Disorder

Lithium Side Effects continued...

If you miss a dose of lithium, take it as soon as you remember it -- unless the next scheduled dose is within two hours (or six hours for slow-release forms). If so, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double up" the dose to catch up.

There are a few serious risks to consider. The drug has been linked to certain birth defects and should be used with caution in pregnant women, especially during the first three months. Breastfeeding isn't recommended if you are taking lithium. Also, in some people, long-term lithium treatment can interfere with kidney function or lead to permanent kidney damage -- which is why periodic monitoring of blood tests to measure kidney functioning is important.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on June 26, 2013

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