Priadel liquid (Lithium citrate)
How does it work?
Priadel liquid contains the active ingredient lithium citrate, which is a type of medicine known as a mood stabiliser.
The way lithium works as a mood stabilising agent is still not fully understood. It is thought that it modifies the production and turnover of certain chemical compounds called neurotransmitters that are found in the brain.
Neurotransmitters are involved in transmitting messages between the nerve cells in the brain. Serotonin is one example of a neurotransmitter, as is dopamine. It is thought that lithium may affect the activity of these compounds in the brain.
Lithium is used in several ways. People with bipolar affective disorder (manic depression) suffer from episodes of severe mood swings, which range from abnormally high mood and extreme excitement (mania) to deep depression. Lithium is used to treat the mania, and to stabilise mood after an acute episode of mood swings to decrease the frequency and intensity of these episodes.
Lithium is also used to treat recurrent depression that has not been responsive to other antidepressants, and aggressive and self-harming or self-mutilating behaviour.
What is it used for?
- Treatment and prevention of mania and hypomania
- As a 'mood stabiliser' to prevent episodes of depression and mania in people with bipolar affective disorder (manic depression).
- Treatment and prevention of recurrent depression when treatment with other antidepressants is unsuccessful
- Aggressive or self-harming behaviour
- There has to be a certain level of lithium in the blood for it to be effective. However, if the level rises too high, unpleasant and potentially serious side effects can occur. For this reason you will need regular blood tests to monitor the amount of lithium in your blood - this is called your lithium level. Your first test should be four to seven days after you start treatment. Your doctor may then need to adjust your dose and do further tests to make sure your lithium level is within the correct range. Once your lithium level has stabilised you should then usually have checks every two to three months.
- If the level of lithium in your blood gets too high it can cause some unpleasant side effects and can be potentially dangerous. This is often referred to as lithium toxicity, and you should be aware of the warning signs of this. These include: loss of appetite, diarrhoea, vomiting, blurred vision, slurred speech, muscle weakness, lack of co-ordination, drowsiness, tremor, unsteadiness, muscle twitching or ringing in the ears. If you experience any of these symptoms you should consult your doctor immediately so that your lithium level can be checked. Do not take any further doses unless your doctor advises you to do so.
- It is important that you drink enough fluid while you are taking lithium, as dehydration can cause your lithium level to increase. For this reason, if you experience any illness that stops you from eating or drinking properly, or causes vomiting or diarrhoea, or a fever with excessive sweating, you should consult your doctor. You should also make sure you drink enough fluids in hot weather and when exercising, when you sweat more. Remember that alcoholic drinks can also dehydrate you.
- It is important that you maintain a normal diet while taking lithium so that the level of salts in your blood remains stable and you don't become dehydrated. It is especially important to avoid changes in your diet that suddenly increase or reduce your salt (sodium) intake, as this can affect your lithium level. You should consult your doctor before going on strict diets.
- Consult your doctor if you need to pass urine more often or you feel very thirsty while taking this medicine.
- It is important that your kidney, thyroid gland and heart function are checked regularly while you are taking this medicine.
- There are a few different brands of lithium available in the UK. The way that your body absorbs the lithium from different brands can vary and this means that changing brands can affect your lithium level. For this reason you should ideally always take the same brand. You should make sure you know which brand you take and check that you have been given the correct one each time your medicine is dispensed. (Your pharmacist will usually ask you, or call your doctor if this is not written on your prescription). If you change brands your lithium level will need to be tested more frequently, in the same way as when you started treatment, until your lithium level stabilises again.
- Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, you should not suddenly stop taking this medicine, even if you feel better and think you don't need it any more. This is because the medicine controls the symptoms of the illness but doesn't actually cure it. This means that if you suddenly stop treatment your symptoms could come back. When you stop taking the medicine your dose should be reduced gradually over a period of a few weeks. Follow the instructions given by your doctor.
Use with caution in
- Elderly people
- Abnormal muscle weakness (myaesthenia gravis)
Not to be used in
- Decreased kidney function
- Heart disease
- Untreated underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
- People with low levels of salt (sodium) in the body, for example due to dehydration, low sodium diets or Addison's disease
- This medicine is not recommended for children and adolescents.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
- This medicine may be harmful to a developing foetus. It should not normally be given to pregnant women, particularly during the first trimester, unless the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks to the foetus. Seek medical advice from your doctor.
- This medicine passes into breast milk and could have harmful effects on a nursing infant. Mothers who need to take this medicine should not breastfeed. Seek medical advice from your doctor.
- Follow the printed instructions you have been given with this medication.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
- Gut disturbances such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea
- Shaking, usually of the hands (tremor)
- Increased production of urine (polyuria)
- Weight gain
- Excessive fluid retention in the body tissues, resulting in swelling (oedema)
- Muscle weakness
- Dazed feeling
- Decreased kidney function
- Underactivity of the thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) - this may make you feel very tired or slow and you may notice the cold more, tell your doctor if you experience this
- Worsening of psoriasis
- Lithium toxicity if your lithium level is too high - for warning symptoms see the warning above
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Sexual problems
- Memory problems
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the drug's manufacturer.For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can this medicine affect other medicines?
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to ensure that the combination is safe.
The following medicines may increase the level of lithium in the blood, causing an increased risk of lithium side effects or toxicity:
- ACE inhibitors, such as lisinopril, captopril, enalapril
- angiotensin II receptor antagonists, such as losartan, candesartan, valsartan
- diuretics, such as bendroflumethiazide, furosemide
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as indomethacin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, celecoxib
- tetracycline antibiotics, such as tetracycline, doxycycline.
There may be an increased risk of side effects unrelated to the lithium level if the following medicines are taken with lithium:
- antipsychotic medicines, eg clozapine, thioridazine, flupentixol, haloperidol
- calcium channel blockers, eg diltiazem, verapamil
- tricyclic antidepressants, eg amitriptyline
- SSRI antidepressants, eg fluoxetine, fluvoxamine.
The following medicines may decrease the blood level of lithium, making it less effective:
- antacids that contain sodium, eg sodium bicarbonate
Other medicines containing the same active ingredient
| Camcolit ||Li-Liquid ||Liskonum |
|Priadel tablets|| |