Initially when a patient is started on Lithium, she will experience side effects, which include feeling sleepy and weak, increased thirst, and hand tremors.
Lithium evens out mood swings in both mania and depression.
It takes 5 to 14 days for Lithium to take effect on manic symptoms. In extreme cases it can take months to get the condition under control.
Lithium is used continually for some individuals to help control the frequency and severity of the symptoms. Trial and error are used to see which patient will respond to the long-term therapy and which will not.
If the patient has a low sodium level the body can retain Lithium and go into toxicity. Symptoms include heavy sweating, vomiting, fever and diarrhea.
Bipolar personality disorder is commonly referred to as manic depressive disorder and causes the individual to have extreme highs and lows. Lithium is the most widely used treatment for this disorder.