Health QuestionsCategory: TreatmentsQuestions for all
TimesAPassing asked 3 years ago

Questions Questions and more questions…
 
I know this such a terribly low dose but has anyone ever achieved stabilization on simply 300mgs or more likely 450mgs?
 
If so how did you personally find the side effects?
 
Aaaannnd at what dose does did you feel Lithium begin to make the weight creep up on you?
 
Being at a lower dose is one less likely to gain weight on this drug.
 
Can everyone recall their first dose..or the first few days..did you get super pooped out, confused and sick OR did some of you find it kind of stimulating?
 
You don’t necessarily have to be manicky or go into manic phases to be on lithium…correct? Where the BP’s II at on Lithium?
 
Ok well  that’s about all the questions I have now. I hope no one is seriously irritated by all the questions.
 
Stay tuned I guarantee I will have more questions Smiley
 
Stay well everyone

6 Answers
martasi answered 3 years ago

Re: Questions for all
No one is offended by your questions. Just keep asking. It sounds like you need more general information about Lithium.
 
Lithium affects different people in different ways. Some people find stability at 75-150 mg., others require much higher doses. PDocs usually try to stabilize people on 900-1200 mg./day.
 
Try these sites for comprehensive Lithium information:
 
The Madison Institute of Medicine, Inc. at http://www.miminc.org
 
Also the Lithium information page on the Madison site at  http://www.miminc.org/aboutlithinfoctr.html
 

Glen answered 3 years ago

Re: Questions for all
Here is a very good article looking at the issue of low and high dosages of lithium.
 
http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/159/7/1155
 
Quote:

CONCLUSIONS: The findings indicate that change in serum lithium level may be a more powerful predictor of recurrence of bipolar disorder than the absolute assignment to a low or a standard dose of lithium and suggest that an abrupt decrease in lithium level should be avoided. This reanalysis did not directly address optimal maintenance lithium levels but raises questions about the original study’s finding of superiority for lithium levels 0.8 meq/liter. The results underscore the importance of accounting for the possible confounding effects of changes in the intensity of pharmacotherapy in studies of maintenance therapies for bipolar disorder
shine answered 3 years ago

Re: Questions for all
Well, let’s see…..
 
I don’t reach therapeutic levels until at least 600mg, but everyone is different so I think it is possible to be therapeutic at lower doses.
 
As far as weight gain, I’ve been truly lucky….Lith made me LOSE weight rather than gain it.  Rapidly, too……I lost more than 20 pounds in about the first month.  That side effect has leveled off now, but my weight has stayed the same; so far I have yet to gain one pound from Lithium.
 
I can recall my first few days on Lith……I felt kind of zombie-like, some pretty intense derealization, and remember telling my husband I didn’t know if I could take the stuff…..but that wore off quickly and since then I’ve just felt more clear-headed.  I still notice that I am more tired on Lith – occasionally really need an afternoon nap!
 
I don’t know if you have to be manic to go on Lith.  I certainly was!  And I am Bipolar 1.  
 
IMO, it’s a good drug.  Generally considered the gold standard for Bipolar.  The side effects can be tough (though I didn’t get the weight gain, I got the leg cramps), but being able to keep my head from spinning for the first time in decades is worth it…..

martasi answered 3 years ago

Re: Questions for all
When I was first dx’d BP in early 1990s I took 1200 mg. and developed GI problems (severe diarrhea and spasms). Also had other side effects that were bothersome. Finally had to go off of it even at lower doses because the GI side effects wouldn’t go away. It did work, especially for manic symptoms.
 
Recently started Li again at much lower dose. It helped a lot w/agitation, irritability & anxiety, but I’ve had 4 UTIs (urinary tract infections) in just 6-8 weeks on the med and recently went off it for this reason. It’s too bad, because Li also helped a lot with pain problems I’ve had for several years. I didn’t realize Li could relieve pain, but something in it did a lot for me w/this issue.  
 
 
 

jupitergal answered 3 years ago

Re: Questions for all
Quote from TimesAPassing on 04. Aug 2006 at 12:09:

Questions Questions and more questions…

I know this such a terribly low dose but has anyone ever achieved stabilization on simply 300mgs or more likely 450mgs?

If so how did you personally find the side effects?

Aaaannnd at what dose does did you feel Lithium begin to make the weight creep up on you?

Being at a lower dose is one less likely to gain weight on this drug.

Can everyone recall their first dose..or the first few days..did you get super pooped out, confused and sick OR did some of you find it kind of stimulating?

You don’t necessarily have to be manicky or go into manic phases to be on lithium…correct? Where the BP’s II at on Lithium?

Ok well that’s about all the questions I have now. I hope no one is seriously irritated by all the questions.

Stay tuned I guarantee I will have more questions Smiley

Stay well everyone

 
 
I was started at 600 mg a day and I felt the effects right away.  At the theraputic dosage I got every side effect in the book except toxicity.  I didn’t notice the weight gain for a couple weeks.  I felt like I was stoned and spaced out, which was, you know, fun at first but terribly inconvenient while I was looking for a job.  But I was still cranky at times, maybe it was a reaction to being unable to function.  It made me so tired I felt like I was dragging weights around my ankles everytime I walked. I wanted to sleep all the time.  It made it hard to work out and that’s probably why I started to put on weight.  It also gave me terrible hand tremors, I was thirsty all the time and I craved smoothies all the time.  Hope that helps.  I lasted about 3 weeks on it and told my doc thanks but no thanks.

TimesAPassing asked 3 years ago

Questions Questions and more questions…
 
I know this such a terribly low dose but has anyone ever achieved stabilization on simply 300mgs or more likely 450mgs?
 
If so how did you personally find the side effects?
 
Aaaannnd at what dose does did you feel Lithium begin to make the weight creep up on you?
 
Being at a lower dose is one less likely to gain weight on this drug.
 
Can everyone recall their first dose..or the first few days..did you get super pooped out, confused and sick OR did some of you find it kind of stimulating?
 
You don’t necessarily have to be manicky or go into manic phases to be on lithium…correct? Where the BP’s II at on Lithium?
 
Ok well  that’s about all the questions I have now. I hope no one is seriously irritated by all the questions.
 
Stay tuned I guarantee I will have more questions Smiley
 
Stay well everyone

6 Answers
martasi answered 3 years ago

Re: Questions for all
No one is offended by your questions. Just keep asking. It sounds like you need more general information about Lithium.
 
Lithium affects different people in different ways. Some people find stability at 75-150 mg., others require much higher doses. PDocs usually try to stabilize people on 900-1200 mg./day.
 
Try these sites for comprehensive Lithium information:
 
The Madison Institute of Medicine, Inc. at http://www.miminc.org
 
Also the Lithium information page on the Madison site at  http://www.miminc.org/aboutlithinfoctr.html
 

Glen answered 3 years ago

Re: Questions for all
Here is a very good article looking at the issue of low and high dosages of lithium.
 
http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/159/7/1155
 
Quote:

CONCLUSIONS: The findings indicate that change in serum lithium level may be a more powerful predictor of recurrence of bipolar disorder than the absolute assignment to a low or a standard dose of lithium and suggest that an abrupt decrease in lithium level should be avoided. This reanalysis did not directly address optimal maintenance lithium levels but raises questions about the original study’s finding of superiority for lithium levels 0.8 meq/liter. The results underscore the importance of accounting for the possible confounding effects of changes in the intensity of pharmacotherapy in studies of maintenance therapies for bipolar disorder
shine answered 3 years ago

Re: Questions for all
Well, let’s see…..
 
I don’t reach therapeutic levels until at least 600mg, but everyone is different so I think it is possible to be therapeutic at lower doses.
 
As far as weight gain, I’ve been truly lucky….Lith made me LOSE weight rather than gain it.  Rapidly, too……I lost more than 20 pounds in about the first month.  That side effect has leveled off now, but my weight has stayed the same; so far I have yet to gain one pound from Lithium.
 
I can recall my first few days on Lith……I felt kind of zombie-like, some pretty intense derealization, and remember telling my husband I didn’t know if I could take the stuff…..but that wore off quickly and since then I’ve just felt more clear-headed.  I still notice that I am more tired on Lith – occasionally really need an afternoon nap!
 
I don’t know if you have to be manic to go on Lith.  I certainly was!  And I am Bipolar 1.  
 
IMO, it’s a good drug.  Generally considered the gold standard for Bipolar.  The side effects can be tough (though I didn’t get the weight gain, I got the leg cramps), but being able to keep my head from spinning for the first time in decades is worth it…..

martasi answered 3 years ago

Re: Questions for all
When I was first dx’d BP in early 1990s I took 1200 mg. and developed GI problems (severe diarrhea and spasms). Also had other side effects that were bothersome. Finally had to go off of it even at lower doses because the GI side effects wouldn’t go away. It did work, especially for manic symptoms.
 
Recently started Li again at much lower dose. It helped a lot w/agitation, irritability & anxiety, but I’ve had 4 UTIs (urinary tract infections) in just 6-8 weeks on the med and recently went off it for this reason. It’s too bad, because Li also helped a lot with pain problems I’ve had for several years. I didn’t realize Li could relieve pain, but something in it did a lot for me w/this issue.  
 
 
 

jupitergal answered 3 years ago

Re: Questions for all
Quote from TimesAPassing on 04. Aug 2006 at 12:09:

Questions Questions and more questions…

I know this such a terribly low dose but has anyone ever achieved stabilization on simply 300mgs or more likely 450mgs?

If so how did you personally find the side effects?

Aaaannnd at what dose does did you feel Lithium begin to make the weight creep up on you?

Being at a lower dose is one less likely to gain weight on this drug.

Can everyone recall their first dose..or the first few days..did you get super pooped out, confused and sick OR did some of you find it kind of stimulating?

You don’t necessarily have to be manicky or go into manic phases to be on lithium…correct? Where the BP’s II at on Lithium?

Ok well that’s about all the questions I have now. I hope no one is seriously irritated by all the questions.

Stay tuned I guarantee I will have more questions Smiley

Stay well everyone

 
 
I was started at 600 mg a day and I felt the effects right away.  At the theraputic dosage I got every side effect in the book except toxicity.  I didn’t notice the weight gain for a couple weeks.  I felt like I was stoned and spaced out, which was, you know, fun at first but terribly inconvenient while I was looking for a job.  But I was still cranky at times, maybe it was a reaction to being unable to function.  It made me so tired I felt like I was dragging weights around my ankles everytime I walked. I wanted to sleep all the time.  It made it hard to work out and that’s probably why I started to put on weight.  It also gave me terrible hand tremors, I was thirsty all the time and I craved smoothies all the time.  Hope that helps.  I lasted about 3 weeks on it and told my doc thanks but no thanks.