I didn't really think you were toxic - yet, but it would be a good idea to see where you are, since you are having trouble. I absolutely hated that; it never completely went away for me at therapeutic dose. Depakote was much cleaner and was very a very effective stabilizer; only problem was significant weight gain and I lost most of the hair in front, around forehead and temples in a span of two months!!! Needless to say, I stopped. The last stabilizer I tried was Trileptal and once I got through the bad dizziness and vomiting (started at too high a dose), for a couple of days, it was stellar! Very effective on mania, absolutely no side effects for me. It does not have the weight gain that the others have, no congitive slowing (I take all mine at night with Seroquel - knocks me on my ass and sleep like a baby!). No blood work, either. It's a newer twist on Tegretol. I'm sure Dana can explain more. If you can't tolerate the lithium, you do have choices. Not all side effects happen to everyone, so experimentation is a good thing to find the right one for you.
You know that lithium will dehydrate you very quickly if you don't constantly drink water, right? Usually it makes people so thirsty, they don't have a choice!! Dehydration can also contribute to the cognitive slowing, if bad enough, of course not to that extent by itself, but please do drink enough water (I still carry a bottle of water everywhere, habit I started many years ago a a result of lithium tx).
Oh, good that you aren't a clinical nurse right now, LOL! I know it sucks doing paperwork, tho!
Keep us informed, OK? I hope you are doing well otherwise. Are you sleeping? Does your doc have you on anything else?
Talk to you later,
All side effects aside, I feel great! My mood is stable, I haven't felt this way, well, ever! Yes, I am bad about not drinking enough water, and interestingly, I don't get thirsty, which doesn't help. I have been drinking more since the headaches and remind myself that it is a must!Initially I also retain a lot of water-my pdoc offered me a diuretic, but honestly, I would rather wait it out(no more drugs!!!). And sure enough, it is less severe as time goes on. I can handle short term side effects, cuz I know the end is in sight! Except for Zyprexa, which worked great but caused significant weight gain. Anyhow I sleep REALLY well. I take my lith in 2 doses, and save the seroquel and mirapex for bedtime. Boy, do I know what you mean about knock your a** out! The seroquel sedates me big time. I sometimes take a benzo if I get akasthisia, love that stuff too. I can see how people become addicted! HOwever, it is for emergs only given the dependency issues. Have you had akathisia? Nasty. Interestingly, I was taking too much Mirapex (that's for the depression) and become super irritated. He wanted to bump up my seroquel, but I refused b/c the akathisia was so bad (before the benzos) and I also did not want to take benzos to counteract the seroquel side effects. Sure enough, lowered my mirapex and now I' m great!!! It is such a game , playing around with these meds. All I can think is that by going through this, it will make me an even better nurse...
Thank you so much for your thoughts, love talking to you guys here! I definitely know what to suggest to pdoc if this tx doesn't pan out-the Lamictal seems particularly interesting!!