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The eMC  

Last Updated 19 Dec 2013

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Camcolit 400 modified-release tablets

Camcolit (Cam-koh-lit) is a medicine which is used in bipolar disorder, depression, mania, self-harming behaviour and treating aggressive behaviour. Camcolit contains lithium carbonate. It is supplied by Norgine Pharmaceuticals Limited.

The information in this Medicine Guide for Camcolit varies according to the condition being treated and the particular preparation used.

There are 2 preparations of Camcolit available. If Camcolit 400 modified-release tablets is not the preparation you are looking for, please select from the drop down list below.

Select your preparation (type) of Camcolit

Camcolit 400 modified-release tablets

Information specific to Camcolit 400 modified-release tablets when used in depression

Your medicine

Camcolit is used to treat a number of mental health problems that are thought to be due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. Camcolit affects the levels and activity of certain chemicals in the brain. Camcolit is used to treat mania, depression, bipolar disorder, aggressive behaviour or self-harming behaviour.

It is very important that you take the correct dose of Camcolit. This is to make sure that the level of lithium in your blood is not too low or too high. Very high blood levels may lead to lithium toxicity. Levels of lithium in the blood can be altered by changes in your diet, fluid or salt intake; certain medicines; infections; vomiting; diarrhoea; or by changing to a different brand of lithium. It is important you tell your prescriber or a member of your medical team if there are any changes in your circumstances that could affect levels of lithium as your dose may need to be adjusted.

Your prescriber will regularly monitor levels of lithium in your blood during treatment with Camcolit. They will also advise you of the symptoms you need to look out for, if levels of lithium in the blood are high. If you develop any signs and symptoms of lithium toxicity, you must immediately seek medical advice. For more information about lithium toxicity and blood tests ask your prescriber or a member of your medical team.

During treatment with Camcolit it is important that you are well hydrated. You need to make sure that you are drinking enough fluid especially in situations where you could become dehydrated such as in hot weather or if you have an infection. Make sure you tell your prescriber if you have an infection. Your prescriber may need to adjust your dose or decide to temporarily stop your treatment with Camcolit.

Other information about Camcolit:

  • your prescriber will try to find the lowest dose of your medicine which can control your condition
  • if you are about to have surgery you may need to stop taking Camcolit before you can have your operation. For more information speak to a member of your medical team

Do not share your medicine with other people. It may not be suitable for them and may harm them.

The pharmacy label on your medicine tells you how much medicine you should take. It also tells you how often you should take your medicine. This is the dose that you and your prescriber have agreed you should take. You should not change the dose of your medicine unless you are told to do so by your prescriber.

If you feel that the medicine is making you unwell or you do not think it is working, then talk to your prescriber.

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When to take your medicine

Some medicines work best if they are taken at a specific time of day. Getting the most from your medicine can also be affected by what you eat, when you eat and the times at which you take other medicines. Make sure you follow any specific instructions given to you by your prescriber or that are in the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with this medicine.

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How to take your medicine

Some medicines have specific instructions about how to take them. This is because they work better when taken correctly. These instructions can include getting the right dose and special instructions for preparing the medicine.

In the case of Camcolit:

If you are having problems taking this form of Camcolit, you should talk to your prescriber or pharmacist. They may be able to give you advice on other ways to take your medicine or other preparations that are easier for you to take.

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Taking too much of your medicine

Taking extra doses of some medicines can be harmful. In some cases even one extra dose can cause you problems. If you take extra doses of your medicine, you must get medical advice immediately. You may need a test to assess the effect of taking extra doses. This is because the effects of taking too much medicine are very complex so it is very important that you seek medical advice.

Contact your prescriber, pharmacist, specialist clinic or call 111 for advice.

Make sure you take all of your medicine containers with you if you are advised to go to hospital.

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Stopping your medicine

If you are not having any problems taking this medicine then do not stop taking it, even if you feel better, unless advised to do so by your prescriber. If, however, you find that this medicine is causing you problems then you should talk to your prescriber about your concerns.

If your medical team decides that it is best that you do not take this medicine any more, they may advise that you do not stop Camcolit abruptly. This is because, in some instances, stopping Camcolit abruptly can cause withdrawal symptoms or cause your original condition to return. In these instances, reducing the dose of Camcolit gradually over time may reduce the chances of having these problems.

If you are in any doubt, contact your prescriber, pharmacist, specialist clinic or call 111.

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Looking after your medicine

The instructions on how you should keep your medicine are on the pharmacy label. You should keep your medicine in the original container. This will help to keep your medicine in the best condition and also allow you to check the instructions. Do not take the medicine if the packaging appears to have been tampered with or if the medicine shows any signs of damage. Make sure that the medicine is out of the sight and reach of children.

In the case of Camcolit:

  • do not store in temperatures above 25°C
  • make sure the cover is closed tightly when you are not using the medicine
  • keep out of sight and reach of children

You must not take the medicine after the expiry date shown on the packaging. If you have any unused medicine, return it to your pharmacist who will dispose of it safely.

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Whether this medicine is suitable for you

Camcolit is not suitable for everyone and some people should never use it. Other people should only use it with special care. It is important that the person prescribing this medicine knows your full medical history.

Your prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all if you:

Furthermore the prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all for a child.

As part of the process of assessing suitability to take this medicine a prescriber may also arrange tests:

  • to determine whether or not the medicine is suitable and whether it must be prescribed with extra care
  • to confirm that this is the right dose
  • to check that this medicine is not having any undesired effects

Over time it is possible that Camcolit can become unsuitable for some people, or they may become unsuitable for it. If at any time it appears that Camcolit has become unsuitable, it is important that the prescriber is contacted immediately.

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A medicine is only made available to the public if the clinical trials have shown that the benefits of taking the medicine outweigh the risks.

Once a medicine has been licensed, information on the medicine's effects, both intended and unintended, is continuously recorded and updated.

Some side-effects may be serious while others may only be a mild inconvenience.

Everyone's reaction to a medicine is different. It is difficult to predict which side-effects you will have from taking a particular medicine, or whether you will have any side-effects at all. The important thing is to tell your prescriber or pharmacist if you are having problems with your medicine.

The frequency of these side-effects is unknown

If you feel unwell or if you have concerns about a side-effect, you will need to seek advice. If you feel very ill, get medical help straight away. Contact your prescriber, pharmacist, nurse or call 111.

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Taking other medicines

If you are taking more than one medicine they may interact with each other. At times your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, in other cases this may not be appropriate.

The decision to use medicines that interact depends on your specific circumstances. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, if it is believed that the benefits of taking the medicines together outweigh the risks. In such cases, it may be necessary to alter your dose or monitor you more closely.

Tell your prescriber the names of all the medicines that you are taking so that they can consider all possible interactions. This includes all the medicines which have been prescribed by your GP, hospital doctor, dentist, nurse, health visitor, midwife or pharmacist. You must also tell your prescriber about medicines which you have bought over the counter without prescriptions.

The following medicines may interact with Camcolit:

The following types of medicine may interact with Camcolit:

If you are taking Camcolit and one of the above medicines or types of medicines, make sure your prescriber knows about it.

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Complementary preparations and vitamins

Medicines can interact with complementary preparations and vitamins. In general, there is not much information available about interactions between medicines and complementary preparations or vitamins.

If you are planning to take or are already taking any complementary preparations and vitamins you should ask your prescriber whether there are any known interactions with Camcolit.

Your prescriber can advise whether it is appropriate for you to take combinations that are known to interact. They can also discuss with you the possible effect that the complementary preparations and vitamins may have on your condition.

If you experience any unusual effects while taking this medicine in combination with complementary preparations and vitamins, you should tell your prescriber.

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Driving and operating machinery

When taking any medicine you should be aware that it might interfere with your ability to drive or operate machinery safely.

In the case of Camcolit:

  • this medicine could affect your ability to drive or operate machinery

You should see how this medicine affects you before you judge whether you are safe to drive or operate machinery. If you are in any doubt about whether you should drive or operate machinery, talk to your prescriber.

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Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your prescriber may advise you to avoid certain foods.

In the case of Camcolit:

  • this medicine is not known to interact with food. You should tell your prescriber if you change your salt or fluid intake while taking Camcolit

For more advice speak to your prescriber, nutritionist or pharmacist.

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Alcohol can interact with certain medicines.

In the case of Camcolit:

  • there are no known interactions between alcohol and Camcolit
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Family planning and pregnancy

Most medicines, in some way, can affect the development of a baby in the womb. The effect on the baby differs between medicines and also depends on the stage of pregnancy that you have reached when you take the medicine.

In the case of Camcolit:

  • the use of this medicine during pregnancy is not recommended. You should only take this medicine during pregnancy if your doctor thinks that you need it
  • if you take this medicine during your pregnancy, your baby may have some problems after birth
  • you must not take Camcolit during pregnancy. If you could become pregnant, you must use effective contraception or abstain from penetrative sex. You must contact your prescriber if you become pregnant, or think you have become pregnant, while taking Camcolit

You need to discuss your specific circumstances with your doctor to weigh up the overall risks and benefits of taking this medicine. You and your doctor can make a decision about whether you are going to take this medicine during pregnancy.

If the decision is that you should not have Camcolit, then you should discuss whether there is an alternative medicine that you could take during pregnancy.

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Certain medicines can pass into breast milk and may reach your baby through breast-feeding.

In the case of Camcolit:

  • women who are taking Camcolit should not breast-feed

Before you have your baby you should discuss breast-feeding with your doctor or midwife. They will help you decide what is best for you and your baby based on the benefits and risks associated with this medicine. If you wish to breast-feed you should discuss with your prescriber whether there are any other medicines you could take which would also allow you to breast-feed. You should not stop this medicine without taking advice from your doctor.

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Ingredients of your medicine

Medicines contain active ingredients. They may also contain other, additional ingredients that help ensure the stability, safety and effectiveness of the medicine. They are also added to improve the medicine's taste and appearance and to make it easier to take. Some may be used to prolong the life of the medicine.

You should check that you are able to take the ingredients in your medicine, especially if you have any allergies.

Camcolit contains:

If you are not able to take any of the ingredients in your medicine, talk to your prescriber or pharmacist to see if they can suggest an alternative medicine. If you have reacted badly to Camcolit before, do not take Camcolit. Talk to your prescriber, pharmacist or nurse as soon as possible.

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Camcolit, Version 10, last updated 19 Dec 2013