Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Mental health

Lithobid Alternatives

(lithium)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Mental health
Back to: Full Site Navigation

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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected

Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Lithobid (lithium)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Lamictal
66%
-66% worse vs. Lithium
58%
-58% worse vs. Lithium
18%
+18% better vs. Lithium
184 reviews
Have you used Lamictal (lamotrigine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Tegretol
56%
-56% worse vs. Lithium
43%
-43% worse vs. Lithium
23%
+23% better vs. Lithium
Have you used Tegretol (carbamazepine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Topamax
52%
-52% worse vs. Lithium
50%
-50% worse vs. Lithium
36%
+36% better vs. Lithium
Have you used Qudexy Xr (topiramate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
LithiumLamictalTegretolTopamax

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

More about Lithium side effects »
  • Dizziness 25%
  • Headache 9%
  • Diplopia 21%
  • Ataxia 16%
  • Nausea 9%
  • Blurred vision 11%
  • Rhinitis 5%
  • Somnolence 7%
  • Pharyngitis 1%
  • Rash 5%
More Lamictal side effects »
  • Dizziness 32%
  • Somnolence 19%
  • Nausea 18%
  • Vomiting 15%
  • Ataxia 15%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Pruritus 6%
  • Dry Mouth 5%
  • Asthenia 4%
  • Rash 3%
More Tegretol side effects »
  • Upper respiratory tract infection 16%
  • Diarrhea 8%
  • Weight decrease 7%
  • Difficulty with concentration/attention 7%
  • Rhinitis 5%
  • Paresthesia 3%
  • Infection 3%
  • Infection viral 3%
  • Rash 3%
  • Fatigue 17%
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
Prescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription 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
LithiumLamictalTegretolTopamax
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
Detailed Lithobid (lithium) risks & warnings »
  • History of depression
  • People also taking Depakote
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Increasing the dose too quickly
  • Taking birth control pills
Detailed Lamictal (lamotrigine) risks & warnings »
  • People also taking Depakote
  • Asian ancestry
  • History of depression
  • European, Chinese, or Japanese ancestry
  • Age 65 years or older
Detailed Tegretol (carbamazepine) risks & warnings »
  • History of depression
  • Children
  • History of metabolic disorders
  • People also taking Depakote
  • Low-carb diet
Detailed Qudexy Xr (topiramate) 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 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.

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

Interactions
LithiumLamictalTegretolTopamax
No interactions related info.No interactions related info.
  • Interacts with many other medicines and supplements.
No interactions related info.
Food
LithiumLamictalTegretolTopamax
  • Take with food or use extended release form to avoid stomach upset.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
No food related info.No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
LithiumLamictalTegretolTopamax
  • 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.No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) may increase your risk for kidney stones. Stay well-hydrated to lower your risk.
  • A few people will get kidney stones.
Sleep
LithiumLamictalTegretolTopamax
  • 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.No sleep related info.No sleep related info.
Weight
LithiumLamictalTegretolTopamax
No weight related info.No weight related info.No 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
  • Report skin rashes or blistering immediately.
  • Don't use if pregnant.
  • Requires routine blood tests.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about LithiumSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lithobid (lithium)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about LamictalSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Lamictal (lamotrigine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about TegretolSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Tegretol (carbamazepine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about TopamaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Qudexy Xr (topiramate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it