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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Brand Name: Eskalith, Lithobid

Generic Name: lithium

Drug Class: Bipolar Disorder Agents

What Is Lithium and How Does It Work?

Lithium is indicated to treat bipolar disorder.

Lithium is available under the following different brand names: Eskalith, and Lithobid.

Dosages of Lithium:

Dosage Forms and Strengths

Tablet, extended release

  • 300 mg
  • 450 mg


  • 300 mg


  • 150 mg
  • 300 mg
  • 600 mg


  • 8 mEq/5mL

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

Bipolar Disorder


  • Immediate release: 900-2400 mg/day orally divided every 6-8 hours
  • Extended release: 900-1800 mg/day orally divided every 12 hours
  • Lower initial dosage may be used to minimize adverse drug reactions
  • Serum lithium should be monitored 12 hours after dose, twice weekly until serum concentration and clinical condition stabilize, and every other month thereafter
  • Desirable range for serum lithium: 0.6-1.2 mEq/L; although higher serum concentrations may be needed, not to exceed 1.5 mEq/L

Pediatric (Off-label)

  • Children younger than 6 years: Safety and efficacy not established
  • Children 6-12 years: 15-60 mg/kg/day orally divided every 6-8 hours; not to exceed adult dosage
  • Children over 12 years: Immediate release, 900-2400 mg/day orally divided every 6-8 hours; extended release, 900-1800 mg/day orally divided every 12 hours

Huntington's Disease (Orphan)

  • Lithium citrate tetrahydrate (in reverse micelle formulation)
  • Orphan indication sponsor
    • Medesis Pharma; L'Oree des Mas, 34 670 Baillargues, France


  • Preferably taken with food

Dosage Considerations

  • Dosing in elderly patients should be cautious, usually starting at low end of range
  • Elderly patients often respond to reduced dosage and may exhibit signs of toxicity at serum concentrations ordinarily tolerated by younger patients
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/18/2017

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