* Eskalith is marketed in Canada as Carbolith
APO-Lithium carbonate is the trade name of a prescription drug containing Lithium as the active component. Lithium is an anti-manic drug used as a mood-stabilizing agent in manic patients and in Bipolar I disorder as a maintenance treatment. APO-Lithium carbonate is manufactured by Apotex Corp and is available as oral capsules in bottle sizes of 100 capsules. The capsules are orange and white in color and on them imprinted “APO-150” on each of the side of the capsule.
Lithium carbonate is a salt of lithium which is used in the stabilization of mood disorders. After the consumption of lithium it is widely distributed in the body (central nervous system), it then interacts with receptors and neurotransmitters leading a decrease in the release of norepinephrine and an increase in the synthesis of serotonin.
Lithium actual mechanism of action in the treatment of mania is unknown but clinical studies have shown that it alters the transport of sodium in the muscle cells and nerves.
Used in the treatment of manic episodes in depression. It is also used in maintenance therapy in preventing the frequency of relapses (in patients with bipolar manic depression) with a history of mania. Some symptoms of mania include motor hyperactivity, flight of ideas, hostility, poor judgment, aggressiveness and pressure of speech. After taking lithium for 1 to 3 weeks, patients experiencing manic episodes have been found to be normalized.
The therapeutic dose when using lithium for treatment of a patient is individualized based on the patient’s condition (for example based on the blood concentration and clinical response), the average dose for an adult should be adjusted to obtain a serum concentration between 0.8 to mEq.
For the treatment of acute mania in a properly screened adult with good renal function, the suggested dose is as follows:
900-1800 mg divided into three doses (morning, afternoon and nighttime).
Maintenance dose: 900 mg per day (divided into three doses)
The dose of lithium should be reduced and used cautiously in this category of patients, dose should be in the range 600-1200 mg/day.
* These may not be all the side effects of.
Before any healthcare provider can initiate lithium therapy, there should ensure that there is an available facility for accurate and prompt serum determination of lithium. Its toxicity is directly related to its serum levels and this happens doses close to therapeutic effectiveness.
Parathyroid disorders: the use of lithium has been associated with hypercalcemia without or with the presence of hyperparathyroidism therefore checking for calcium levels is necessary.
There is a correlation between the use of lithium and decrease in sodium re-absorption in the renal tubules and this can lead to sodium depletion, hence the need to maintain adequate fluid intake, salt and a normal diet.
Occupational hazards: use of machinery, operating vehicles should be done with caution since lithium may impair physical and mental abilities.
Taking Lithium carbonate with certain drugs can either potentiate their effects in the body or nullify them, it may affect the manner in which these drugs work or vice versa. Therefore you should know the medicines you take and always remember to tell your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you are prescribed new medicine. Below are examples of medicines that may interact Lithium when used together.