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Brand name: Lithicarb TM

Active ingredients: lithium carbonate

What it is used for

Mania, both as treatment and prophylaxis; manic depressive (bipolar) illness, both as treatment and as prophylaxis; it is less effective in depressive swings. In recurrent endogenous (unipolar) depressive illness, it is highly effective as prophylaxis in a number of cases, and is probably useful as treatment, especially if there is a family history of manic depressive illness and response to lithium. In some cases of schizoaffective illness and so called chronic schizophrenia it is dramatically effective. Those in the latter category who do respond have frequently had affective symptoms at some time. It is used in character or personality disorders in young people with clear evidence of cyclothymia. Lithium should not be prescribed until it is certain that the manic depressive swings are established and the course of the disease certain. If the patient has two affective swings in one year, perhaps in opposite directions, and associated with a positive family history, it should certainly be seriously considered. With three episodes in two years, there is no doubt it should be given. As a general rule, it should be prescribed, and therapeutic response assessed, satisfactory maintenance dosage determined, side and toxic effects and associated precautions discussed with the patient and relatives, and blood levels monitored, only under specialist supervision except perhaps in isolated areas. A major management problem also is that there are relatively narrow distances between the therapeutic and toxic dosages and blood levels. For these reasons treatment is preferably commenced on an inpatient basis, so that the patient is under appropriate observation.

How to take it

The way to take this medicine is: Oral. This medicine is taken by mouth.

  • Store below 30 degrees Celsius
  • Shelf lifetime is 2 Years.

You should seek medical advice in relation to medicines and use only as directed by a healthcare professional.

Always read the label. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.

Visual appearance

White to off-white oval-shaped bevel edged film coated tablets with breakline on one side and plain on the other side.

Images are the copyright of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia

Do I need a prescription?

This medicine is available from a pharmacist and requires a prescription. It is Schedule 4 : Prescription Only Medicine.

Pregnant or planning a pregnancy?

For the active ingredient lithium carbonate

You should seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist about taking this medicine. They can help you balance the risks and the benefits of this medicine during pregnancy.

Download leaflet

For side effects, taking other medicines and more

Download consumer medicine information leaflet (pdf) from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) website

Reporting side effects

You can help ensure medicines are safe by reporting the side effects you experience.

You can report side effects to your doctor, or directly at www.tga.gov.au/reporting-problems

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