Lithium contraindications and warnings


Following is information on contraindications to the use of lithium in general, pregnancy, breastfeeding and children. Please note that the contraindications may vary depending on the dosage form of a drug (eg tablet, syringe, ointment).

When should lithium not be used?

In case of hypersensitivity to the drug lithium must not be used. Even during the first four months and in the last month of pregnancy and during breastfeeding, the treatment with the active ingredient is not allowed.

The following concomitant diseases preclude the use of lithium. These include:

  • severe cardiac dysfunction such as myocardial infarction or cardiac arrhythmia
  • Malfunction of the adrenal cortex, such as in Addison’s disease
  • severe renal impairment, including kidney failure
  • disturbed salt budget or a low-salt diet.

If any of the following conditions or conditions exist, lithium should only be used under medical supervision:

  • Psoriasis
  • Blood cancer (myeloid leukemia)
  • thyroid
  • Seizures (epilepsy)
  • abnormal muscle weakness (myasthenia gravis)
  • elderly patients.

Lithium must be discontinued for at least two days before anesthesia or surgery.

Children under the age of twelve should only use lithium under medical supervision.

What should you watch out for during pregnancy and lactation?

The active ingredient passes through the mother cake to the unborn child, where it can lead to damage to the cardiovascular system. For this reason, lithium should not be taken in the first four months of pregnancy and the last month before birth. When used in the rest of the time, the blood level of lithium must be constantly monitored by a doctor. When the labor begins, lithium must be completely released.

If there is no pregnancy at the beginning of treatment with the active substance, measures must be taken in any case for the prevention of pregnancy.

During breast-feeding, treatment with lithium is not permitted, as the active substance may enter the baby through the breast milk and cause harm to it.

What should be considered in children?

In children under 12 years of age, treatment with lithium should only be given after medical consultation and under constant supervision.

Warnings and Precautions

  • Alcohol intolerance is reduced with concomitant use of the drug.
  • While taking the drug, the drug content in the blood must be monitored by a doctor.
  • Treatment with the drug requires annual medical thyroid function tests and quarterly control of body weight and neck circumference.
  • Treatment with the drug requires annual medical tests of kidney and heart function, mineral balance and blood counts.
  • During treatment with the drug, the patient should regularly check his blood pressure.
  • 24 hours before surgery, treatment with the drug must be stopped.
  • Care should be taken during treatment with the product to ensure adequate saline and fluid intake.
  • If there is a risk of interactions with, for example, neuroleptics, the brain function should be checked by an EEG.
  • Pregnancy should be excluded before starting treatment with the drug.
  • The drug’s ability to respond may be compromised to such an extent that driving a car and operating machinery are dangerous.

Sometimes medications release allergic reactions.
If you notice any signs of allergic reaction, tell your doctor or pharmacist immediately.