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Lithobid Alternatives

(Lithium)

  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
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Compare Lithobid (Lithium) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Lithobid (Lithium) or used for similar purposes.

Lithobid
(Lithium)

Lamictal
(Lamotrigine)

Tegretol
(Carbamazepine)

Qudexy Xr
(Topiramate)

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.Prevents seizures and stabilizes mood. Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is most useful for treating severe seizure disorders, and for bipolar disorder with more depression symptoms than manic symptoms. Just be careful to increase your dose slowly to avoid skin rash.Prevents seizures, stabilizes mood, and relieves nerve pain. Tegretol (Carbamazepine) is useful for preventing seizures and relieving certain types of nerve pain, but interacts with many drugs.Prevents seizures and migraine headaches. Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) is useful for preventing seizures and migraines, and doesn't require blood tests while you're on it.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.252212389380531Lithium
Reviews for Lithobid (Lithium)
46%
of people say Lithobid (Lithium) is worth it
35%
say it works well
24%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Lamictal (Lamotrigine)
67%
+21% vs. Lithobid (Lithium)
58%
+23% vs. Lithobid (Lithium)
19%
+5% vs. Lithobid (Lithium)
Reviews for Tegretol (Carbamazepine)
58%
+12% vs. Lithobid (Lithium)
42%
+7% vs. Lithobid (Lithium)
21%
+3% vs. Lithobid (Lithium)
Reviews for Qudexy Xr (Topiramate)
54%
+8% vs. Lithobid (Lithium)
52%
+17% vs. Lithobid (Lithium)
33%
9% vs. Lithobid (Lithium)
Side effects
LithiumLamictalTegretolTopamax

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

More about Lithium side effects »
  • Double vision 41%
  • Dizziness 27%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 18%
  • Blurred vision 15%
  • Nausea 14%
  • Vomiting 14%
  • Headache 10%
  • Inflammation inside the nose 5%
  • Sleep difficulty 4%
  • Incoordination 4%
More Lamictal side effects »
  • Dizziness 32%
  • Drowsiness 19%
  • Nausea 19%
  • Vomiting 15%
  • Itching 6%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Dry mouth 5%
  • Muscle weakness 4%
  • Blurred vision 4%
  • Rash 3%
More Tegretol side effects »
  • Tingling sensation 45%
  • Slowed-down thinking and movements 19%
  • Dizziness 17%
  • Drowsiness 17%
  • Fatigue 17%
  • Change in taste 14%
  • Difficulty with concentration/attention 13%
  • Nervousness 12%
  • Difficulty with memory 11%
  • Vision abnormal 11%
More Topamax side effects »
How it works
LithiumLamictalTegretolTopamax
Researchers don't know exactly how Lithobid (Lithium) works, but it seems to affect chemicals in the brain that regulate mood.Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to calm nerve activity in the brain.Tegretol (Carbamazepine) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to block certain kinds of nerve activity to reduce seizures and pain.Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to affect multiple parts of the brain to control seizures and migraines.
Type of medication
LithiumLamictalTegretolTopamax
Mood stabilizerPrescription only
AnticonvulsantPrescription only
AnticonvulsantPrescription only
AnticonvulsantPrescription only
Available as
LithiumLamictalTegretolTopamax
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral suspension
  • Pill
  • Extended release capsule
Used for (click to learn more)
LithiumLamictalTegretolTopamax
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.
The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Lithobid (Lithium)The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Lamictal (Lamotrigine)The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Tegretol (Carbamazepine)The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Qudexy Xr (Topiramate)
Risk factors for serious side effects
LithiumLamictalTegretolTopamax
  • Low sodium
  • Dehydration
  • Drug interactions (diuretics, ACE inhibitors, NSAIDs like ibuprofen)
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • Long-term use
    Detailed Lithobid (Lithium) risks & warnings »
    Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.
    Pregnancy category
    LithiumLamictalTegretolTopamax
    DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

    See the FDA package insert
    DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    Alcohol
    No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
    Food
    • Take with food or use extended release form to avoid stomach upset.
    • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
    No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    • Probably not safe if you have kidney problems.
    • 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.
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    • A few people will get kidney stones.
    Sex
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    Sleep
    • Persistent stomach upset, slurred speech, or extreme drowsiness may be a sign that your dose is too high.
    • 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.
    No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    • Can cause sleepiness, speech problems, tingling sensations, and weight loss.
    Upsides and benefits
    LithiumLamictalTegretolTopamax
    • 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.
    • Effective at lowering the frequency of seizures in people with epilepsy or Lennox-Gestaut syndrome. Typically used together with other medications for severe seizure disorders.
    • Works best for partial, tonic-clonic, and absence seizures.
    • A first-line treatment for bipolar disorder. Effective long-term treatment for stabilizing mood. Prevents both depressive and manic episodes, but the effect is greater for preventing depression.
    • Doesn't require routine blood tests.
    • Lowers the frequency of seizures, especially for people with tonic-clonic and partial seizures.
    • First-line option for trigeminal neuralgia (nerve pain involving the face, head, and neck), and can relieve other types of nerve pain.
    • May be helpful in stabilizing mood for people with bipolar disorder.
    • Used on its own or with other antiepileptic medicines to lower the frequency of seizures, especially for people with tonic-clonic or partial seizures, or Lennox-Gestaut syndrome.
    • Helpful in preventing frequent migraine headaches.
    • Doesn't need routine blood tests.
    Downsides and risks
    LithiumLamictalTegretolTopamax
    • 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.
    • Can cause double vision, dizziness, sleepiness, and headache.
    • Has the risk of a rare but life-threatening rash.
    • Can make hormonal birth control less effective.
    • Might be less effective than other medicines for treating manic episodes (acute mania) in people with bipolar disorder.
    • Interacts with many other medicines and supplements.
    • Higher risk of skin reactions compared to other antiepileptic medicines, ranging from mild to life-threatening rash.
    • Can cause blurry vision, dizziness, and upset stomach.
    • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
    • Requires routine blood tests to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
    • Can cause sleepiness, speech problems, tingling sensations, and weight loss.
    • A few people will get kidney stones.
    • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    LithiumLamictalTegretolTopamax
    • 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.
    • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
    • Don't use if pregnant.
    • Requires routine blood tests.
    • Follow dose adjustments set by your doctor to minimize skin rash.
    • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
    • Report rash, blurry vision, fever, persistent headache, or neck stiffness to your doctor.
    • Makes hormonal birth control less effective.
    • Takes 4 to 6 weeks to feel full effects on mood.
    • Report skin rashes or blistering immediately.
    • Report confusion, persistent abdominal pain, yellowing of eyes/skin, or easy bruising to your doctor.
    • Takes up to 5 weeks to feel full effects on mood.
    • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
    • Don't use if pregnant.
    • Requires routine blood tests.
    • Can cause tingling skin sensations and reduced appetite.
    • Report any confusion, decreased sweating, fever, or changes in behavior or vision.
    • Takes 3 to 4 weeks to feel full effects on mood.
    • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
    • Don't use if pregnant.
    Learn more
    More about LithiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about LamictalSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    More about TegretolSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    More about TopamaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert