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Re: Advice needed - should I start on Lithium?

Posted by sarita0001 on November 10, 2003, at 16:56:25

In reply to Re: Advice needed - should I start on Lithium?, posted by sackhoullier on November 10, 2003, at 16:05:16

Hi Mark-

I was on lithium for 7 years and was able to graduate college and now I am in grad school- so it shouldn't interfere with your work in the long term. The drowsiness is worst in the beginning, but it should decrease later or at least become tolerable. What dosage are you starting at and/or working up to? Are you taking controlled release? I took Eskalith CR 900 mg for 6.5 years and was at 675 for 6 months. I began to have trouble with it in summer of 2002. I didn't know why then but it was because the level was too high 1.2. Because I was having some trouble then, the Dr. did not lower it. This was affecting me my 1st semester of grad school but I made it and then lowered the dosage 2nd semester and was much better.

The main thing is to know what your lithium level and figure out what works for you. Always ask for a copy of your blood test or ask to see it when you get the results. Some doctors will tell you not to lower it because it is below the "therapeutic dose" but the dosage is less important when it comes to lithium. The LEVEL is the key to effectiveness. I did well at .7-.9, but like I said for some reason the level stayed high after 6 years on it. Taking the entire dose at night can lessen drowsiness. When I used to take split dosages, I would feel tired one hour after (that is usually when lithium hits peak levels in your body).

If you have any questions, let me know. I have a lot of experience with lithium.





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