Lithium

Discussion in 'Therapy and Medication' started by AimeeRaindrop, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. AimeeRaindrop

    AimeeRaindrop Active Member

    Hi all! I'm fairly new to the site. I was a member here many years ago but have come back due to a few issues in my life.

    I was recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, type 2, and put on Chlonazepam for three weeks to even my mood out whilst I had blood tests done to confirm I was eligible for Lithium. I start Lithium tomorrow; 400mg once a day.

    The thing is, I've heard mixed things about them. Some people say they're going to zone me out and turn me into a zombie. Others say I'm going to just plain go crazy on them. And others say they will really help.

    I know it's difficult to say how a drug will affect someone, as everyone reacts differently to drugs but can anyone tell me anything about this drug? Someone told me it's also highly addictive and usually used as a last-resort drug. Is this true?

    Any advice would be so appreciated as I am quite nervous about taking them!
     
  2. maggiehorse

    maggiehorse New Member

    hi i take 800mg lithium daily , have done for 3 years , seems to help , i,m not a zombie , i work , function etc , i also take 40mg citalopram and 20mg olanzapine
     
  3. mackaroni

    mackaroni Well-Known Member

    It really depends on the person along with other medications you take! I have actually found my pharmacists to be more helpful with these types of issues rather than the doctors because they also seem to have more time to talk with you.

    I have been on 600mg Lithium 2x daily (1200mg) total for about a year and feel great. I have been lucky though and have had relatively few side effects with most medications!

    Good luck!
     
  4. octopod

    octopod Active Member

    I have taken lithium for about 10 years now. Started out at 600 mg/day but have been doing well on 300 mg/day for about 6 years, I guess. No side effects that I can identify. Need to keep well hydrated, tho; and have a kidney function blood test 2x/year. I was prescribed clonazepam about two years ago when I had a major anxiety breakthrough. That drug scared me big time. The initial dose was two .5 mg tablets a day. I now take only one half tablet, .25 mg, and had no problems decreasting the dose. If I feel really stressed, I have dr's ok to increase the dose for a few days. It took a lot of effort on my part to get put on lithium, but I finally found a pdoc who listened and I credit lithium with saving my life. I still have problems with depression, but that's ok. It was always the mania that did me in.
     
  5. Ilovecatsmeow

    Ilovecatsmeow Member

    I just started lithium too. My dose is 450 mg. so far I've had no side effects, but it's only been three days.
     
  6. mytime

    mytime Active Member

    I'm on lithium too, 1000mg at night. It's a little sedating, which is a blessing, but otherwise no side effects. For me, it's been one of the easiest meds to take.

    A couple of interesting things about lithium. Everyone absorbs lithium a bit differently so to get the dose right for you will probably require a few blood tests to check the level in your blood. The biggest risk is getting too much which can do organ damage, especially kidneys so you'll also need occasional blood tests once your levels are stable. Providing you have those, the risk it's low. Some over the counter meds can affect lithium levels (e.g. ibuprofen which is in many pain killers) so it really is important that you tell you pharmacist that you're on lithium. I like to know the main interactions myself too.
    The best thing about lithium is it's been used for a long time so it's safety it's pretty well established. The odds are really high that you'll have no problems worth it.


    Good luck!

    Tony
     
  7. catecholamine

    catecholamine Well-Known Member

    I took lithium for a while. It's not addictive, so don't worry about that. And no, it's not a last resort med. They will have to do blood tests to make sure your lithium levels are where they should be. I didn't have any side effects. Also, you should have your thyroid checked once or twice a year just to make sure the lithium isn't causing any thyroid issues.
    Drink plenty of water, but not abnormally large amounts, and don't change your sodium intake because both of those things can change the concentration of lithium in your blood.
     
  8. DrownedFishOnFire

    DrownedFishOnFire Quieta non movere

    I'm now on 900mg. Pdoc ingored my pleas not to be put on it, I do not want to be worrying about levels all of the time, and I don't drink plenty water im bound to hurt myself on it but I've been stabilized on this along with haloperidol clozapine and seroquel.