Lithium and other mood stabilisers

Explains what mood stabilising drugs are, what they're used for, possible side effects and information about withdrawal.


Lithium is a mineral that occurs naturally in the environment. It can be prescribed as lithium carbonate (Camcolit, Liskonum, Lithonate, Priadel) or lithium citrate (Litarex; Li-liquid, Priadel) to be used as a mood stabiliser.

When you are first prescribed lithium, your doctor should give you a purple lithium treatment pack. This pack should include:

  • An information booklet (there's an example on the NHS website here).
  • A lithium alert card (there's an example on the NHS website here). You should always carry this card with you, and show it to any health professional before they treat you for any condition (including your dentist).
  • A record book for blood test results.

You can find more detailed information about lithium in the official Patient Information Leaflet (PIL), including what it's for, how to take it, possible side effects and important safety information. This leaflet should come with your medication (usually inside the box). You can also access it online as a PDF by clicking the link here:

If a drug can come in different forms (such as tablets or liquid), there may be a separate PIL for each one. You should look at the PIL for the particular form and dose you've been prescribed. All PILs are available online on the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC).

If you have any questions about your medication you can talk to your doctor, someone at your pharmacy or call NHS 111.

What else might I want to know?

We're currently reviewing all of our medication pages. Please tell us what you would like to find on this page in future via 'Was this page useful?' buttons below.

If you have personal experience of taking this drug and would be interested in producing a blog or vlog about it to appear alongside our information, see our pages on telling your story.

This information was published in April 2017. 

References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.

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