PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What are the side effects of lithium being used to treat bipolar disorder?

ANSWER

About 75% of people who take lithium for bipolar disorder have some side effects, although they may be minor. Sometimes side effects can be relieved by changing the dose of lithium. Never change your dose or drug schedule on your own. If you're having any problems, talk to your doctor about your options.

Common side effects of lithium include:

Particularly bothersome tremors can be treated with additional medication.

  • Weight gain
  • Impaired memory
  • Poor concentration
  • Confusion
  • Mental slowness
  • Hand tremor
  • Sedation or lethargy
  • Impaired coordination
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Hair loss
  • Acne
  • Excessive thirst and dry mouth
  • Excessive urination
  • Decreased thyroid function (which can be treated with thyroid hormone)

SOURCES: WebMD Medical Reference: "Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Disorder)." WebMD Assess Plus: Bipolar Disorder Assessment.  National Institute for Mental Health: "Step-BD Womens Studies."   Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic & Research Program.  MedicineNet: "Bipolar Disorder (Mania)."  WebMD Medical Reference: "Effects of Untreated Depression." American Psychiatric Association: "Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder."






Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on November 7, 2017

SOURCES: WebMD Medical Reference: "Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Disorder)." WebMD Assess Plus: Bipolar Disorder Assessment.  National Institute for Mental Health: "Step-BD Womens Studies."   Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic & Research Program.  MedicineNet: "Bipolar Disorder (Mania)."  WebMD Medical Reference: "Effects of Untreated Depression." American Psychiatric Association: "Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder."






Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on November 7, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

What are some serious risks regarding lithium being used to treat bipolar disorder?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

    Other Answers On: