Compare Lithium vs. Seroquel

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

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Lithobid (Lithium)

Prescription only

Seroquel (quetiapine)

Prescription only
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.

Seroquel (quetiapine) is a effective at treating schizophrenia, mania, and depression but it can cause weight gain and high blood glucose levels.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 250 reviewsforSeroquel
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Seroquel (quetiapine) is effective at relieving psychotic symptoms and manic episodes.
  • Seroquel (quetiapine) has fewer side effects than most antipsychotic medications.
  • Seroquel (quetiapine) is less likely to cause heart problems compared to some other antipsychotics.
  • Seroquel (quetiapine) is also the least likely to cause Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS) – a movement disorder that causes stiffness, tremor, restlessness, and slow, repetitive, or involuntary movements.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Seroquel (quetiapine) has a moderate to high risk of weight gain, elevated cholesterol and/or blood sugar compared to other antipsychotics.
  • You might need routine blood tests to check how Seroquel (quetiapine) is affecting your body.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Price
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Reviews
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250 reviews so far
56%
saidit'sworth it
50%
saiditworked well
27%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Lithobid (Lithium) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
36possible side effects
  • Drowsiness
    34%
  • Dry mouth
    19%
  • Headache
    17%
  • Weakness
    10%
  • Constipation
    10%
  • Dizziness
    9%
  • Tremor
    8%
  • Stomach pain
    7%
  • Low blood pressure
    7%
  • Agitation
    6%
  • Weight gain
    6%
  • Sore throat
    6%
  • Back pain
    5%
  • Stiffness/difficulty moving
    4%
  • Hay fever
    4%
  • Swelling in the limbs
    4%
  • Twitching
    4%
  • Indigestion
    4%
  • Depression
    3%
  • Lazy eye
    3%
  • Speech disorder
    3%
  • Altered hormone levels
    3%
  • Heaviness
    2%
  • Infection
    2%
  • Fever
    2%
  • High blood pressure
    2%
  • Increased heart rate
    2%
  • Increased appetite
    2%
  • Hypothyroidism
    2%
  • Incoordination
    2%
  • Abnormal thinking
    2%
  • Anxiety
    2%
  • Loss of control of movements
    2%
  • Sinus infection
    2%
  • Sweating
    2%
  • Urinary Tract Infection
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Overdose
    • Low sodium
    • Dehydration
    • Drug interactions (diuretics, ACE inhibitors, NSAIDs like ibuprofen)
  • Pregnancy
  • Driving impairment
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Reduced kidney function
    • Long-term use
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Higher risk of death
    • Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Children, adolescents, and young adults (<24 years old)
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart problems
    • Drug interactions
  • Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS)
  • Metabolic changes (increased blood sugar, high cholesterol and weight gain)
    • People with diabetes
    • People with high cholesterol
See more detailed risks and warnings