We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Factors Affect Lithium Dosage?

By Debra Durkee
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Lithium is a prescription medication used to treat individuals suffering from bipolar disorders and severe depression. It is available in several different forms, including tablets, capsules, and liquid, and the amount taken varies depending on the body's response to the medication. Every individual processes lithium differently, so the prescribing medical professional will generally request the individual to submit to routine blood tests to determine the dosage, a process that can take several attempts.

The correct amount of lithium in the brain acts to balance mood. Too little lithium can result in manic-depression and other extreme mood swings. With too much lithium in the body, an individual can suffer from seizures, gastrointestinal distress, difficulty speaking, and confusion. An individual suffering from a mood disorder caused by a lack of the chemical in the blood is prescribed a lithium dosage based on how much the levels need to increase to achieve the desired amount.

Depending on the severity of the deficiency, an individual may be prescribed a fairly large lithium dosage for the first few days of the treatment. Levels of lithium in the blood are usually checked on a regular basis, and the results of these tests are used as a guide to stabilize the dose and regulate levels. Every individual processes lithium differently, so it may take several prescription changes to find the right dose.

A number of factors impact the way the body processes lithium. An individual with thyroid disease, kidney disease, or other renal conditions may excrete more lithium than a healthy individual, making a higher dose necessary to sustain the proper levels. Any cardiovascular conditions can also impact the way the body functions.

Other types of medication can interfere with the levels of lithium in the body and are typically taken into account when a medical professional determines the lithium dosage. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, mood stabilizers, and some vitamin supplements can all impact lithium levels. Some medications act as diuretics and increase the amount of urine and lithium that pass through the system, which can require increased dosage. A medical professional will often inquire about other factors that may increase the rate at which lithium is processed, including caffeine intake and use of antacids.

The lithium dosage will often be accompanied by information regarding side effects of an overdose. If the individual becomes dehydrated, it could lead to lithium poisoning. Suppression of appetite, mental confusion, difficulty speaking, and muscle twitches may also occur; when these take place, it is important to get in touch with a medical professional in order to change the lithium dosage immediately.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.