What is Lithium Carbonate?

Malcolm Tatum

Lithium carbonate is a chemical compound that is often used in the creation of different types of products, including some bakeware. This compound has also proven helpful with some mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder. In recent years, topical ointments containing this compound have been developed to treat various types of skin irritations.

Lithium carbonate is often prescribed as a mood stabilizer for people with bipolar disorder.
Lithium carbonate is often prescribed as a mood stabilizer for people with bipolar disorder.

The first lithium carbonate uses in the middle of the 19th century focused around utilizing the compound in treating different ailments. The compound was found to be useful in facilitating the dissolution of blockages in the bladder. Physicians also began to employ the compound to treat headaches, stiffness in the joints, and even gout. By the middle of the 20th century, lithium carbonate was found to have a positive impact when used to treat people suffering from different types of depression.

Glass made with lithium carbonate is usually microwave safe.
Glass made with lithium carbonate is usually microwave safe.

Today, the compound is often used to restore and maintain emotional balance among patients who are dealing with bipolar disorders. By using carefully prescribed doses of lithium carbonate, it is possible to regulate chemical reactions in the brain and prevent the severe mood swings that are the earmarks of this mental condition. This allows the individual suffering from bipolar disorder go enjoy a more balanced perception, which in turn helps to promote cognition and allow the patient to interact easily with others.

In terms of lithium carbonate side effects, there is very little risk when the compound is used under the direction of a physician. However, there are some people who have experienced adverse reactions. These include the development of deeper depression, increased rapidity in mood swings, and thoughts of suicide. When the dosage is extremely high, there is also the chance of permanent damage to the nervous and renal systems.

Patients are usually advised to be aware of any possible side effects of lithium carbonate, especially during the first several months of usage. Should any issues develop, a physician can determine if adjusting the dosage would allow the patient to enjoy the benefits derived from the compound while avoiding the less desirable side effects. For people who are unable to tolerate the antidepressant, the dosage is usually tapered off while another anti-depression drug is introduced. In severe cases, the physician may choose to discontinue use of the lithium carbonate at once and prescribe medication to help deal with withdrawal symptoms while the new antidepressant has a change to begin working.

Along with medicinal uses, lithium carbonate can also be used to make glass products that have a high tolerance to heat. This is especially important when it comes to manufacturing baking dishes that are safe to use in different types of ovens. Glass cookware that are made with this compound as an ingredient can be used in a traditional gas or electric oven, a toaster oven, or a microwave oven with equal ease.

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