Side Affects of Lithium

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Ria
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 6/27/2005 7:49 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been on Lithium for a little over 6 weeks now.  Ever since I have started taking it I have been SOOO slugish to the point I am falling asleep at work.  THe Nausea has subsided some but I have no energy is this normal? Will it stay this way? I just feel Blah.

Thanks,
Ria

kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 6/27/2005 1:59 PM (GMT -7)   
 Hi Ria, Here's what I have for you. I am on 2 forums , so I asked for you not to mention the overwhelming people on lithium. Some did experience mild nausea, and as far as your extreme tiredness you  might want your doctor to be aware of that. When's the last time you had your lithium levels checked? I have never personally been on lithium before so I am strictly going by responses and what I have read. Sorry I can't be of much help. I see that pyschnurse was on yesterday. I have to go back and see if I can find her , maybee she's on MSN? Or is it yahoo? Unsure. Hope she isn't mad at me. Just messing around. Let me know how you feel tomorrow. When in doubt , call the doc! Take care Ria. Kitty!

Ria
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 6/27/2005 4:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I called the PDOC he said it is the lithium and to cut back the dose.  Does anyone know what the withdrawl symptoms are if you quit taking it.  I felt so much better before taking this med. 

feeltherhythm
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2004
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 7/6/2005 1:15 AM (GMT -7)   
I just want to say that i've been on lithium for 5 years. I don't get out of bed much now. I have had my levels checked and i'm exausted even when my levels are low.. I've begun to explore many many other ways to treat the problems I have (bipolar). I've started to take many blood tests. I've found i have a high ammonia level and a low glutathione level (body's master antioxidant). The doctor i'm seeing (a nutritional psychiatrist) has also focused on my metabolism and gut function. If my gut isn't working right then nutrients may not be absorbed and toxins may not be released. I'm waiting to get my liver/kidney function test back... Anyways, you may know all this or know much more than this. I'm just trying to tell people what i wish i knew, that you can explore much deeper than checking your lithium level and there's so much more than this...

jason

this is just one interesting article i found, i'm not saying its all true or anything, just one more thing i'm exploring

http://www.nutritional-healing.com.au/content/condition.php?category=neuro&condition=Bipolar+Disorder

psychnurse
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 7/6/2005 2:56 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey, had to answer this one.  Kitty, I'm not mad!  Where on earth would you get such an idea????  Silly! tongue

Lithium can cause the extreme sluggishness you complain of; and does in the majority of people who take it, even when it's at a therapeutic dose.

Most likely there is depression you are suffering as well; lithium is not an antidepressant.  There are some studies that suggest it keeps depression at bay, but in my personal and professional experience, I have not seen that to be true.

Feeling blah is to be expected when you just start mood stabilizers, and can last for awhile, but not being able to get out of bed is unacceptable.  Did you tell your doc?  You probably need an antidepressant (Not SSRIs!!!!) Lamictal is a good medicine for depression in bipolars and it doens't have the side effects of SSRIs.  It is also a mood stabilizer, but doesn't cause fatigue.  Welbutrin works well, also and is often used with Lamictal.

Are you seeing a pdoc or a GP?


kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 7/6/2005 5:38 PM (GMT -7)   
 I had a feeling she might ask that.Just say pdoc, just kidding from my end, pyschnurse.Repeat NO SSRI's unless of course you like feeling Crazy. That is to say, manic or having mania, of course I know everyone is different. Sorry, had to throw thta in, I had a terrible side effect from effexor, made me feeling nuts for a week!!! devil      Kitty...

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 7/6/2005 6:10 PM (GMT -7)   
LOL!  Yeah, just say pdoc and get me off your back!!! yeah
 
 

kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 7/6/2005 6:38 PM (GMT -7)   
 How did I know you would get a kick out of that. Seriously what was the question? tongue Kidding! No but really, do you have a pdoc or GP? Hope you are doing okay.

justkeepswimming
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 7/14/2005 2:32 PM (GMT -7)   
hi,

I'm on lexapro and xanax .. and the quack put me onto lithium about 6 wks ago.. (so many pills, if you shook me, i'm sure i'd rattle!)

i am not planning on stopping the lithium yet, although it seems to have caused horrible insomnia, joint pain, and violent nausea!

blood tests regularly and supposedly fine.

anyone been on lithium long term with POSITIVE affects? i wish i could get some encouraging news about it.

hit me with some advice, i'd really appreciate it.

x
just keep swimming.

ps- YOU ALL ROCK!

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 7/14/2005 2:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, justkeepswimming!
 
It can take a while to adjust to lithium; that and depakote are the most effective at stabilizing mania, but lithium has so many side effects, and not everyone can tolerate it.
 
You DO need it or depakote if you are taking Lexapro (or any antidepressant), because those cause mania, and can be very dangerous when used without a stabilizer. nono
 
Lithium doesn't usually cause insomnia; in fact it usually causes extreme drowsiness at first.  How long have you been on the lexapro?  That would make more sense, and if you are having that bad of insomnia, you are probably hypomanic, in which case you should tell your pdoc. 
 
Don't feel like a walking pharmacy, I'm on 4 meds, very common in BP! :-)
 
We ALL rock! yeah

clic
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 7/14/2005 6:40 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey Ria

I am on Lithium as well, I can't remember how long (about a couple of months now). I get sick unless I eat it with food, as for the sluggishness, it has decreased to the point where I do not notice it. For awhile I had probs with memory and concentration, but that has also improved. If I do not drink enough water, the side eefcts are far worse. Hang in there, if this drug is for you, it is great-I havne't felt this good in a long time! (giving credit to my other meds too of course!)

nrs2b


pepperina30
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 7/14/2005 9:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Just out of curiosity.  Does anyone know what kind of interactions say.........robitussin, Imodium AD, Codine, Benedryl, stuff like that would have with lithium?
 
Pepper

feeltherhythm
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2004
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 7/14/2005 10:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I take lithium. And i know what its like being on it. For me, it hasn't been fun. And I just want to say if nothing else, i think it is good that those of you who are taking it are asking questions. You can't find any answers if you don't ask any questions.

jason

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 7/15/2005 6:56 AM (GMT -7)   
There aren't any dangerous interactions with those drugs, except obviously codeine with lithium will increase the sedation and drowsiness, benadryl too to a lesser extent.  Codeine, darvocet and the like can trigger depression, not in everyone, of course but I wouldn't risk it.  Most aches and pains can be controlled with 800 mg of ibuprofen (4 over the counter motrins) every 6 hours.  It has happened to me, 2 darvocets cost me about a week and a half of depression, despite being on antidepressants.  Now I take motrin!!!!  Funny thing, I get the same relief as I did with darvocet.

rudabaga
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/26/2006 10:30 PM (GMT -7)   
i've haven't been on lithium for about 4 months now, was on and off for about 2 years(900-1200mgs daily) and i will never take it again. i've been diagnosed bipolar and borderline and have been on every ssri and depakote(will never take again, rage issues) anyway i've gained 40 pounds which i still can't get rid of, i'm currently on prozac(am) and seroquel(pm) which really seems to be working out really good for me although everyone is different. prozac for me seem to help with motivation while the seroquel regulates my sleep and organizes my thoughts. i wake up brite eyed and bushy tailed every morning on my own at about 8 or 9. it took a little bit to get used to the seroquel but with the prozac kickin in i have a lot more energy and drive to get things done. it takes time to find out what works for a person its not an exact science what works for some doesn't for others. talk to your dr. about alternatives. meds. are for getting your mind back not numbing it!

wmnak
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 8/27/2006 1:00 PM (GMT -7)   
hey, y'all,
 
i have been on lithium carbonate about 2 yrs.  the pdoc rxed several other meds, which i got off of because of side effects.  my neurologist HATES lithium because it severely restricts the other meds you can take.  i, too, have memory problems, probably from the lithium.
 
i have had most of the side effects that have been posted.  i quickly learned to take the lithium with food.  i have to be dead or dieing before i upchuck :-)
 
i have constant chronic debilitating back pain and take darvocet and lortab for the pain.  it doesn't seem to effect the lithium.  i also recently got a chest infection and the dr rxed a coding caugh syrip.  again no effect.  the doc did know i take lithium.
 
hope my experience helps you.  good luck.
 
warren

olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 8/28/2006 3:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Ria,
 
I sympathize with you, I have been on lithium for a little over 4 months and have the same tiredness issue.  My pdoc insists it is depression, but I know it is the work of the lithium.  I asked what I can do to help and she said to try to eat foods that boost your energy or to to  vitamins.  I have tried both and they only help to a certain degree. 
 
One thing I did realize is that the less water I drank the worse it felt, other days there was no way out of it.  I hope you are able to stick it out, if not best wishes on getting good meds, it can be a pain to find the right one.
~Olivia

"Don't let your yesterday ruin your today."


Jade11
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 9/23/2006 7:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I have been on Lithium for a little over 3 years now.  I don't really have any side effects.  I remember the first few weeks being on it I was really tired.  However, I am not sure if it was another drug I was on at the time or the Lithium.  With Lithium I feel like I am not on anything at all.  I take my dose at night and don't feel any side effects.  And I have been symptom free from mania and major depression for this time as well.
 
Sometimes I do get tired in the evenings and need to take a nap.  However, this is usaully when I don't get enough rest at night.  As long as I get 7 plus hours of sleep at night I am fine.  I had been on Depakote before Lithium and it didn't really work.  I felt like I had so many more symptoms with Depakote. 

binxy_jay
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/28/2008 7:33 PM (GMT -7)   
HI
I have just (really only yesterday) been put on lithium and i was wondering if someone could tell me the possible side effects of the drug and how long i wait before i exepect anything at all.
I've heard that you should take vitamin suppliments while on lithium. if so, which ones?
ALSO
whats a PDOC?



Binxy -- This is a very old post, so I'm copying it to a new post with it's own thread. Look for responses there. Please everyone, respond to Binxy's thread on the main page. Thanks, serafena

Post Edited By Moderator (serafena) : 8/28/2008 10:00:04 PM (GMT-6)


Diskus
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 8/29/2008 4:02 PM (GMT -7)   
my fiance is on lithium and lamictal (great combo for him)...we have learned that you should avoid ibuprofen while on lithium (we learned this on the NAMI drug interaction website)...he took an advil cold med once and it triggered his mania. I believe you are only supposed to use tylenol while on lithium.

seandalton
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/29/2008 9:11 PM (GMT -7)   

Lithium is one of a number of drugs that can help to stabilise, normalise or even-out mood swings. It can help if you get either low or high e.g. depression that either won't go away or keeps coming back.

====================================

seandalton

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Post Edited By Moderator (serafena) : 8/30/2008 4:50:14 PM (GMT-6)


Vanity&deceit
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/13/2013 1:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been on lithium for approx. 8 weeks, and I still have extreme tiredness and fatigue. I have been able to work from home, because it has been so difficult to get out of bed and conduct regular activities. I have difficulty focusing and concentrating; and I always need to nap 1-2 times/day. My psychologist says my fatigue is due to depression, but I still think it is the meds. I'm on cymbalta for depression, but still am lacking my old "luster" for life and feel completely drained of energy round the clock.

Depakote was worse, fatigue-wise, for me. I was diagnosed bipolar I in October-2012.

With my current cocktail of: cymbalta (am), lithium (am & pm), and klonopin (pm): is there an amount of time that this ongoing tiredness will cease???

Chloe43
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 3/13/2013 8:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Vanity,

Fatigue is not a listed side effect of lithium. Are you exercising? Exerise helps reduce your need for sleep and helps improve mood also.

www.drugs.com
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