(b) Blood levels of lithium carbonate should always be performed at
regular intervals to ensure that the appropriate therapeutic levels of the drug are
(c) Lithium carbonate should not be administered to patients who are
taking diuretics (that is, some antihypertensive medications), because diuretics tend to
cause an accumulation of the drug, and toxic levels of the drug could rapidly occur.
(d) The efficacy (clinical effectiveness) of lithium carbonate in the
treatment of the depressive phase of manic depressive illness remains controversial.
The drug is the most effective treatment for true bipolar illness, particularly in the control
of manic episodes. The drug is not effective in established depressed episodes. It may
prevent reoccurrence of both manic and depressive episodes.
(e) Drowsiness. Patients taking the drug should be cautioned against
operating heavy machinery (for example, driving an automobile).
(1) Use. This drug belongs to the class of antipsychotics called "atypical".
They are used for treatment resistance in older agents and reduce the likelihood of
extrapyramidal side effects. They may be used as first line agents.
Adverse effects. Adverse effects seen with this drug are:
NOTE: Other atypical antipsychotics include Olazapine (Zyprexa), Clozapine
(Clozaril), and Quetiapine (Seroquel).