Lithium and Alcohol
Lithium is the generic name of a drug being sold under the brand names Eskalith and Lithobid which functions by affecting the flow of sodium through nerve and muscle cells in the body as sodium affects excitation or mania.
This drug is used to treat manic depressive episodes and symptoms include hyperactivity, rushed speech, poor judgement, reduced need sleep, aggression and anger and also helps to prevent or lessen the intensity of the episodes.
It is suggested that you do not consume alcohol even moderate drinking while using this drug as the effectiveness of the drug will be lessened and side effects greatly increased.
At this time the medical community defines moderate consumption of alcohol as no more than two drinks per day and no more than 14 drinks per week. Anything more than that is considered an unhealthy dependency on alcohol that may have adverse social, family and health consequences.
If a person drinks only once or twice a week but drinks on the same days each week and more than two drinks this is considered as an alcohol dependency.
If a person binge drinks at any time during the week this is also considered as alcoholism.
Some consider alcoholism as a disease while others consider it an addiction which is the result of personal choice and character fault. This school of thought blames the alcoholism on life style choices.
Personally I consider alcoholism a genetic tendency as I have seen families of alcoholics even when they live far apart. These unfortunate people are probably dependent on alcohol from the first drink.
When alcohol interacts with prescription or over the counter drugs it usually results in negative health effects most especially liver damage as the main organ affected.
Before using Lithium advise your doctor if you are allergic to any other drug or substance, if you are using dietary or herbal supplements, are pregnant, plan to be or are breastfeeding, have kidney disease, underactive thyroid, a severe or debilitating medical condition, are dehydrated or have low levels of sodium in your blood.
Less serious side effects are mild hand tremors, weakness, lack of coordination, mild nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain or upset, thinning or drying of the hair or itching skin. If these occur call your physician for advice.
Serious side effects are severe allergic reaction such as hives, difficult breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat, extreme thirst, change in urination, weakness, fever, restless, confused, eye pain, vision problem, muscle movement in eyes, tongue, jaw or neck, pain, cold, discolouration in fingers and toes, lightheaded, faint, slow heart rate, hallucinations, seizure, fever with muscle stiffness, sweating, uneven heartbeats, signs of lithium toxicity such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, muscle weakness, tremor, lack of coordination, blurred vision or ringing in the ears. If these occur get emergency medical help.
This site serves as an information source only and does not dispense medical advice or any other kind of advice. If you are seeking medical advice you are advised to consult your own physician.
Lithium and Alcohol Lithium and Alcohol
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