Lithium Carbonate (Generic Eskalith) - Product information and Uses

A number of chemical salts of lithium are used medically as a mood stabilizing drug, 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 may reduce the risk of suicide in certain bipolar patients.
For the treatment of depression alone (unipolar disorder) lithium can be used to augment other antidepressants. Lithium carbonate (Li2CO3), available as Generic Eskalith Pills and several other trade names, is most commonly prescribed.
Lithium in the form of Generic Eskalith is used to treat mania in bipolar disorder. Initially, lithium is often used in conjunction with antipsychotic drugs as it can take up to a month for lithium to have an effect. Lithium is also used as prophylaxis for depression and mania in bipolar disorder. Lithium Carbonate is sometimes used for other psychiatric disorders such as cycloid psychosis and major depressive disorder. Lithium possesses a very important antisuicidal effect not shown in other stabilizing medications such as antiseizures drugs.
Upon ingestion, lithium becomes widely distributed in the central nervous system and interacts with a number of neurotransmitters and receptors, decreasing norepinephrine release and increasing serotonin synthesis. Each tablet of Eskalith contains lithium carbonate, 450 mg. Inactive ingredients consist of alginic acid, gelatin, iron oxide, magnesium stearate, and sodium starch glycolate.

Lithium Carbonate (Generic Eskalith) - Availability And Packaging

Lithium Carbonate is available as Generic Eskalith which is packaged in 300 mg and 400 mg (Extended controlled release) tablets.

Side Effects of Lithium Carbonate (Generic Eskalith)

The average developmental score for the lithium-exposed group of children was 7-8 points lower than the control group (siblings), but well within the normal range of 100±15. Lithium is known to be responsible for significant amounts of weight gain. It increases the appetite and thirst, may cause more depression than before with suicidal thoughts and actions, and reduces the activity of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism).
Lithium Carbonate is also believed to affect renal function. Lithium is a well known cause of downbeat nystagmus.The nystagmus may be permanent or require several months of abstinence for improvement. Lithium is also a teratogen causing birth defects in a small number of new born babies. If taken during a woman's pregnancy can cause her child to develop Ebstein's anomaly, a heart defect.

Lithium Carbonate (Generic Eskalith) - Dosage

The recommended dose for most patients on maintenance therapy is 900 mg daily, e.g., Eskalith CR 450 mg twice a day.
Please consult your doctor for exact dosing instructions.

Overdosage and Overdose Symptoms of Lithium Carbonate (Generic Eskalith)

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 also include coarse tremor, muscle twitching, convulsions and renal failure. Persons who survive a poisoning episode may develop persistent neurotoxicity.

Additional Information

Additional Info: Prescribing Information

Considerable portions of the text here is from and is reproduced here under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License