Compare Lithium vs. Latuda

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Lithobid
(lithium)

Latuda
(lurasidone)

Stabilizes mood. Lithobid (Lithium) is the most effective long-term treatment for bipolar disorder, but it comes with a lot of side effects, so it can be difficult to take.Helps control your thoughts and mood. Latuda (Lurasidone) is good for treating schizophrenia and depression related to bipolar disorder. It's less likely to cause weight gain, cholesterol, blood sugar, and heart rhythm problems.
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Coupons for Lithium
Best available price for 90 (300mg) capsules of lithium
Coupons for Latuda
Best available price for 30 (40mg) tablets of latuda
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Lithobid (lithium)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Latuda
61%
-61% worse vs. Lithium
61%
-61% worse vs. Lithium
25%
+25% better vs. Lithium
Have you used Latuda (lurasidone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
LithiumLatuda

The Lithium FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Lithium side effects »
  • Drowsiness 12%
  • Restlessness 12%
  • Nausea 6%
  • Parkinsonism 6%
  • Any side effect 3%
  • Indigestion 2%
  • Vomiting 2%
  • Sleep difficulty 1%
  • Anxiety 3%
  • Agitation 3%
More Latuda side effects »
How it works
LithiumLatuda
Researchers don't know exactly how Lithobid (Lithium) works, but it seems to affect chemicals in the brain that regulate mood.Latuda (Lurasidone) is a second generation antipsychotic. It treats schizophrenia and bipolar depression by adjusting the levels of dopamine and serotonin in your brain, which affects thoughts and mood.
Type of medication
LithiumLatuda
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
LithiumLatuda
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Pill
Used for
LithiumLatuda
Risk factors for serious side effects
LithiumLatuda
  • Low sodium
  • Dehydration
  • Drug interactions (diuretics, ACE inhibitors, NSAIDs like ibuprofen)
  • Alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
Detailed Lithobid (lithium) risks & warnings »
  • Elderly patients with dementia
  • Age 18 years or younger
  • Duration of treatment
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
Detailed Latuda (lurasidone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Alcohol
LithiumLatuda
No alcohol related info.
  • Need to avoid drinking alcohol while taking Latuda (Lurasidone).
Food
LithiumLatuda
  • Take with food or use extended release form to avoid stomach upset.
  • Latuda (Lurasidone) can increase your blood sugar and cholesterol. However, Latuda (Lurasidone) is the least likely to raise your blood sugar and cholesterol compared to other antipsychotic medications. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
Kidneys and liver
LithiumLatuda
  • Lithobid (Lithium) can reduce the kidney's ability to balance salt and water in your body. This is reversible if you stop taking Lithobid (Lithium). If you're urinating much more than usual, your doctor can do a blood test to check your kidney function.
  • Probably not safe if you have kidney problems.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Sleep
LithiumLatuda
  • The amount of Lithobid (Lithium) that's too much for your body to handle is only a little higher than the amount in an effective dose. This means it can be easy to accidentally overdose. Symptoms of Lithobid (Lithium) toxicity include diarrhea, vomiting, drowsiness, abnormal eye movements, muscle weakness, and lack of coordination. In severe cases, overdose can cause coma or seizures. If you think you've taken too much Lithobid (Lithium), stop taking it and seek medical attention immediately.
  • Persistent stomach upset, slurred speech, or extreme drowsiness may be a sign that your dose is too high.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
LithiumLatuda
  • A first-line, long-term treatment for bipolar disorder. Effective at stabilizing mood and preventing relapse.
  • For manic episodes (acute mania), more effective when taken together with an antipsychotic medicine.
  • The only drug proven (so far) to lower the risk of suicide, possibly because it lowers aggressiveness and impulsivity.
  • Has been shown in clinical studies to help people felt better and experience improvements with their thoughts and mood.
  • It’s a newer type of medication and works differently than traditional antidepressants.
  • Can be taken alone or with other medications that manage your mood.
  • Compared to other antipsychotics, it has a lower risk of causing weight gain and changes to cholesterol, blood sugar, and heart rhythm.
Downsides and risks
LithiumLatuda
  • Has many short- and long-term side effects.
  • The dose for it to work well is very close to the amount that causes overdose, so you have to be careful, watch out for symptoms, and get help immediately if you accidentally take too much.
  • Probably not safe if you have kidney problems.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Requires routine blood tests to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • Certain antifungal and heart medicines can increase the amount of Latuda (Lurasidone) in your body and put you at risk for more side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about any drug interactions between medicines you’re taking.
  • Can cause you to be more sensitive to heat and make it harder for your body to cool off.
  • Need to avoid drinking alcohol while taking Latuda (Lurasidone).
  • Elderly people who have dementia shouldn't take Latuda (Lurasidone).
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
LithiumLatuda
  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
  • Don't use if pregnant.
  • Requires routine blood tests.
  • Take with food or use extended release form to avoid stomach upset.
  • Stay well-hydrated, and keep salt intake consistent.
  • Persistent stomach upset, slurred speech, or extreme drowsiness may be a sign that your dose is too high.
  • Take it once a day at the same time each day. It works faster when you take it with a small snack (at least 350 calories).
  • Don’t eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking Latuda (Lurasidone). It can negatively affect how Latuda (Lurasidone) works.
  • Can cause dizziness and nausea, so avoid activities that require you to be alert until you get used to it.
  • Usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to see the full effects on your thoughts and mood, so hang in there until you find the right dose that works for you.
Learn more
More about LithiumSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lithobid (lithium)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about LatudaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Latuda (lurasidone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it