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952564 tn?1268368647

Starting Lithium tomorrow!

So due to my financial situation I will be starting Lithium tomorrow. I'm not looking forward to the blood testing, but at least I will be on something and not just running around like a crazy person, (hopefully it works anyway.) I know my mom had a kidney failure as a young woman so I'm going to take extra care of myself to stay hydrated. I will be on a very low dose short term and hopefully things will improve for me.

Also, I finally found out the name of the medicine that caused me those massive panic attacks. It was the generic form of Abilify. When I told my doctor he just nodded and said it can be activating for some people. Well, I never will take it again now knowing what it does to me, and at least I now know what it was so that I can easily avoid it.
23 Responses
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874521 tn?1424116797
I'm glad you have found some opening towards (hopefully) a solution to you're financial problems...there is always some light than shines when others go out!!!
I'm lucky my prescriptions are all covered here otherwise I would be in you're position as well...
good luck with the lithium
Helpful - 0
952564 tn?1268368647
Thanks!

I've already started practicing drinking water. I've already had 3 twenty ounce glasses of water since noon. That's a lot for me. I just want to get better for my family and for myself.
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944643 tn?1418214422
Congrats! I'm also taking lithium. Unfortunetly Im horrible about drinking water, and still haven't been drinking it. I can't stop drinking diet sunkist. But I'm extremely thirsty all the time and I pee like a pregnant woman! lol. How soon did ur doc tell u that u need a blood test? Mine didn't give me one, but he told me I need to get one from my GP. I have hypothyroidism, so he told me I might need to have it increased. Hope it goes well for u!
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731160 tn?1297272308
I have been taking lithium since last November and it has definitely helped, and like CrzyBeautiful says it is hard to remember to drink enough water at times.  I wish all the best.
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574118 tn?1305135284
Forget about the financial situation, lithium is by far the first line ood stabilizer. If you compare its side effects with the others you will find having the least. It's only none of the pharm comp advertised for it simply because there is no money in it. However contrary to all the newer MS lithium is better understood and the precautions very well known and total awareness exists about its efficacy. It has been there more than a century and manufactured for the public since the 40's.

Besides, many pdocs return to it these days because they say it's safer than the anticonvulsants. It prevents suicide, build the brain cells only stay hydrated. The other MS have been in the market for 15 years so nobody expects to know the side effects except after another decade.

Don't feel sorry, lithoum is still no 1 MS

good luck and you will feel the difference after a few days not weeks.
Helpful - 0
574118 tn?1305135284
You said you have hypothyrodism. I thought this shows symptoms of mental illness by itself and you only need to cure that, so WHY you take lithium above that, i.e. isn't enough to discover your thyroid problem and forget about BP automatically.
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952564 tn?1268368647
CrzyBeautiful1: I need to have my second blood test in 2 weeks. I have to go in first thing in the a.m. before I take my lithium that day so they get me at the lowest possible level to make sure I'm not over lithiumed or whatever it is called.

But, I'm going on low dose. 300 mg 2x a day. Plus I'm supposed to exercise and take low dose of omega 3.

To drink more water I'm going to carry a big giant water bottle with me everywhere. I seriously have to keep up on it because my mom only did have 1 kidney. This happened to her when she was in college, maybe about 25. So, I just have to take care of myself.

In a while I'm going to get my prescription. I agree it has the least side effects and that makes me feel better about it.

Thanks everyone!
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Avatar universal
it will work good for you..just never stop drinking water...no Coffey if so not much thisa lowers lithiem  salt raises serem levels....get blood test done never pt thuis off NEVER!!!! as long as you drink 48 oz aday of water ur ok..unless you sweat alot then 64 Oz's..if you get a cold or fever call pdoc...dont drink on this litiem will cause dehydration,,levels will rise...

keep  in mind that therapeutic starts at 0.6  and stops at  1.0    1.2-1.5  is toxic  in most people...write this down and frame it on your wall......if you get to 1.1  ur doc will *****  you..then lower the ion....good luck..
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Avatar universal
300 mg x 2   is the starting  dose anything less than that would take  alonmg time to reach 0.6...
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Avatar universal
if your hypomania  or mixed...you will love this med....its been around so long everyone knows it....i know everything on this drug...i studied  it well..your mom only bourned with 1 KIDNEY or did sher lose 1????   i was bourned with only 1...i was on litiem had some problems..there going to look at my toxic  and dictation reports nd go from there...but litiem put me in a great state of mind...with in 12  days i was calm..you have breaks were the brain lets go at times...all ms do this time or another...once the brain gets the ion salt to the transmitters to communicate with  the neurons and serotonin,, then this will calm that storm in ur brain..ALWAYS REMEMBER  #1 RULE ALWAYS DRINK WATER EVEN IF YOU NOT THIRSTY...AT TIMES YOU WILL GAG,,BUT U WILL GET OVER THAT..THE BEST WAY I FOUND WAS TO CARRY A 20 OZ  WATER BOTTLE AND REFILL 3-4 TIMES DAY..DONT  CHANGE ANYTHING IN UR EATING EXCEPT  THE CAFFEINE INTAKE  VERY LITTLE IF ANY....SALT WILL MAKE THE ION RAISE ALOT..BEST TO TAKE THIS CLOSE TO THE SAME TIME EVERYDAY SO NOTHING GETS IN THE WAY OF TIMING..IM ON XANAX FOR PANIC..AT TIMES I FET  NO NEE FOR IT..BUY I BEEN ON IT SO LONG I HAVE TO TAKE IT...SO I SEE THIS RUNS IN UR KIN AS WELL AS  MINE DOES...LITHIUM CAN MAKE YOU SHAKE BUT THIS IS VERY NORMAL U WONT BE NERVES..BUT IF YOU WOULD START TO TREMBLE  IS OK ALSO UNTIL  U WILL  KNOW WHEN IN IF THIS WOULD BE A ADVERSE....YOU WILL DO GREAT ON IT  LIKE EVERYONE HAS SAID ON THIS THREAD..LITHIUM IS WELL KNOWN VERY CHEAP...HITLER USED THIS WITH HIS PEOPLE TO KEEP  THEM IN CHECK..I THINK IT WAS INTRODUCED IN THE USA 1939..BUT HAS BEEN AROUND SINCE 1700  CENTURY...AS LONG AS YOU DRINK  48 OZ'S ++  UR GOING TO BE FINE..THE BLOOD TEST  AREN'T ANYTHING..NEVER MISS ONE..AND WHEN U GT UR LITHIUM ALWAYS LOOK AT THEM TO MAKE SURE THE PRINT IS ALWAYS WHAT ITS SUPPOSE TO BE...I WAS STARTED ON 300 2X A DAY  ALSO..BUT I WANTED THE ULTIMATE FEELING I WENT TO 900 A DAY..THEN I GOT SICK AND WASENT DRINKING WATER'S I HAD SOME ISSUES..MY  OWN FAULT  BUT NOW THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN..THERE WANTING TO PUT ME BACK ON THIS CUZ IVE USED ALOT OF MS MEDS THAT DONT EFFECT ME...I WONT DO THE E.C.T.  EITHER..YOU LOSE ON THAT...SHORT TERM MEMORY....SOME PEOPLE SHAKE ALOT SOME JUST TWITCH..I DID BOTH BUT IT TOOK OVER 2 MONTHES BEFORE THIS HAPPENED TO ME..BUT LIKE I SAID ITS NORMAL UNTIL U WILL BE THE ONE TO KNOW ITS NOT...IF FOR ANT REASONS U FEEL SICK OR MUSCLE  CRAMP MPS OUT OF NO WERE ASK UR PDOC OR GPDOC TO TAKE  A GENARAL  CHEMASTY PROFILE...THIS WILL SHOW THEM ALOT ON UR BLOOD CHEMISTRIES..ALSO  THEY WILL BE MONITORING YOUR CREATINE AND GFR....AFTWER ON LITHIUM LIKE 10 YRS THEY WILL DO A  CREATININE CLEARANCE,,,,,,,,,BUT UR GOING TO FEEL LIKE A KING...I KINDA LIKE A LITTLE UP..BUT LITHIUM WILL NOT DEPRESS YOU IT WILL MAKE YOU NORMAL...                        GREAT LUCK MY FRIEND LET US ALL KNOW IN HERE IN A FEW WEEKS HOW ITS GOING.....YOU WILL  BE STANDING TALL LOL LOL.....JAMES
Helpful - 0
1011752 tn?1269241519
I am on 1200mg of the extended release lithium.  I don't recall any side effects other than nausea.  For me, the nausea was terrible at first, but then it subsided.  I have been taking lithium steady for about a year.  Once your dose is stabilized, they don't do blood levels very often (at least I don't have many anymore).  I have been taking lithium off and on over the past 5-6 years, and I do very well on it.  Just over the past month or so, I am hitting my first bout with mania since starting it again over a year ago.  This episode of mania is more than likely due to the reduction in Abilify.

Good luck to you.
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574118 tn?1305135284
>>>BUT LITHIUM WILL NOT DEPRESS

I know lithium is effective and potent in mania, how can a bipolar taking lithium manage depression, does he have to take say abilify or an antidepressant to go along with it, i just wonder if lithium helps in depression, i need the answer of someone who takes it
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952564 tn?1268368647
So far everything is good. Drinking lots of water and no nausea or anything. Had a really good day today and yesterday. Did a lot of exercise and such so I'm pretty tired. Didn't sleep well last night but due to a headache. I don't know if headache is a side effect, but headache is common with me. So, I think I'm doing good so far. I'm feeling positive and that in itself is good enough for me.
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944643 tn?1418214422
I AM being treated for my hypothyroidism. I've been on a thyroid med for a long time. It has helped with my debilitating depression, but I still have mental issues aside from the hypothyroidism. THis has already been well established for me. That is why I'm on lithium.

Xila: I am also on 300 mg twice daily. I still haven't gotten a blood test. My pdoc didn't even tell me when I'd need one. Was I supposed to have one before I started the lithium? I wasn't told to so I'm not sure. And my pdoc told me to see him again in 6 wks (which is about 3 weeks from now) so should I have my blood levels checked before I see him again? I'm guessing I will need to because my doc is going to have to increase my lithium if he can. The only change I've noticed is excessive thirst, frequent urination, and I've had diahrrea alot lately. But the diahrrea could be anything, because I have IBS from time to time.
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574118 tn?1305135284
>>> but I still have mental issues aside from the hypothyroidism. THis has already been well established for me.

I mean have you had hypothyrodism only without any mental issue which was responsible for your depression, then - correct me if i'm mistaken - then you would stop all the BP meds (lithium, ...) and try to handle the hypothyrodism only.  
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952564 tn?1268368647
I had a blood test on Friday before I started. They tested my kidney function and thyroid level for a base line. Then I have to go back in two weeks to test again. I don't know how long they will make me do this. I would call your doctor and ask about it.

I am doing okay. Some drowsiness and thirst despite drinking tons of water. Yesterday the psychologist at my work came up and asked if I was okay because I guess I looked zoned out or something. I told her I started lithium (she knows my history) and she said okay. Also I just don't feel well due to my asthma recently. But otherwise I'm doing okay on this.
Helpful - 0
575745 tn?1254165100
Hi there,
I live in Canada, so thankfully meds are covered for me.
I see a chiropractor whose wife is a nutritionist. he recommended that i take omega -3 (cod liver oil) because it reduces the toxicity of lithium. I'm not very consistent with meds, but i find it helps. I personally don't drink anything with caffeine, and when I drink coke or soft drinks, I find that increases the toxicity in my body. Increased tremors, inability to concentrate, feeling that I'm not in my body, feelings of hot and cold (almost like shocks in my body). I don't drink that much water perhaps 2 l's per day, but I drink a more when I exercise or I'm in the sun. Right now I'm at 600mg's daily. I find that whenever there is a an increase in my lithium, my appetite increases and I drink more water leaving me bloated, sluggish, and foggy.
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944643 tn?1418214422
No, I did not have only the thyroid problem, alone. I have always had they mental issues, and when I developed hypothyroidism, my depression part of my mental issues got worse.  It was only when I got on a thyroid med, that the constant suicidal feeling let up, but they were still there, along with my other usual mental problems. My mental issues are not from my thyroid condition. I KNOW that. So yes, I DO need the lithium. No offense, but this shouldn't even be a topic of discussion as far as my treatment is concerned. I have worked closely with my DOCTORS, and we all know what my conditions are, and are taking measures to treat them.
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952564 tn?1268368647
I'm supposed to be taking omega 3 also but I keep forgetting.

I've noticed that despite drinking a lot of water my mouth often tastes salty. It really isn't that troublesom, just weird.
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944643 tn?1418214422
my doc didn't even recommend Omega 3 to me. Why is this so beneficial to take with the lithium?
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952564 tn?1268368647
My doc just wants me to take the omega 3 because I started doing it on my own and that week I did pretty good, maybe? I read some studies on it being beneficial for bipolar and a friend gave me a big bottle of them for my birthday. But, in general omega 3 supposed helps with brain function and memory and concentration. I was only taking 1 705mg pill every other day, but now I keep forgetting to take it. He said really you need to take 4 of those big pills every day to get the full effect, but I can keep doing what I'm doing (if I remember to do it.) Also to exercise.
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574118 tn?1305135284
omega3 for depression is effective, in which case you can up it till 6000mg. the advantages of omega 3 are many, control many things, e.g diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure, arthritis, it's true...incidentally it exists in flax oil (linseed oil) along with omega6, except that the chain in the fish is more effective, further that no guarantee that it's extracted COLD from seeds of linen, otherwise poisonous. so safer from fish

keep going with omega3 whether on lithium or not. i myself take 3gm daily since 3 years and i notice better concentration. also they usually sell it encapsulated with wheat germs as a strong antioxident
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952564 tn?1268368647
This morning I looked at my omega 3 bottle and said, "I'm going to take one with my lithium." Then I promptly forgot. This happens to me often. I did remember to take my lithium, though. Funny, huh?
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