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What is Eskalith?

By D. Jeffress
Updated May 17, 2024
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Eskalith®, also called lithium, is a prescription medication given to patients with bipolar disorder. The drug helps stabilize physical, mental, and emotional responses during manic episodes. When Eskalith® is used daily in the exact manner prescribed by a doctor, it helps to keep moods level and reduce the chances of slipping into a major bout of mania or depression. The medication can cause negative side effects such as restlessness, digestive issues, and dry mouth, but most reactions are minor. Patients need to attend frequent checkups when taking lithium so their physicians can monitor responses and adjust dosage amounts as needed.

The exact mechanisms by which Eskalith® controls mania are not entirely understood. Research suggests that the drug changes the way nerve and muscle cells use sodium, which may result in a relaxing effect. It also affects serotonin levels in the brain; serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has been causally linked to the onset of depressed and manic episodes. Ongoing clinical and laboratory studies are underway to better understand lithium's true mechanisms of action.

Eskalith® comes in oral tablets, extended-release capsules, and liquid solutions. Tablets and solutions are usually prescribed to be taken three to four times per day, while the capsules can be taken once every 12 hours. When determining the proper dosage amount, a doctor runs several tests and analyzes blood work to make sure the drug is both safe and effective. Most patients are given very low initial doses that are gradually increased over the course of two or three weeks until a maximum effective dose is reached.

The most common symptoms associated with Eskalith® are indigestion, bloating, gas, and loss of appetite. A person may also have dry mouth, periods of restlessness or insomnia, and minor joint and muscle pain. Some people also have acne breakouts or develop brittle fingernails and hair with long-term use. In rare cases, Eskalith® can induce a serious reaction that causes extreme mental confusion, hand tremors, seizures, or possibly loss of consciousness.

Doctors carefully monitor patients while they are on Eskalith® to limit the risks of adverse reactions. It is essential to take the medication at the same time each day and avoid overdosing at all costs. When Eskalith® is used properly, it can provide significant relief of manic symptoms for the majority of patients. People can enjoy daily activities and maintain work and personal relationships without fear of becoming hostile, aggravated, or losing touch with reality.

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