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Re: Lithium as an AD Augmentation Strategy anneL

Posted by Ritch on April 19, 2005, at 10:09:48

In reply to Lithium as an AD Augmentation Strategy, posted by anneL on April 19, 2005, at 0:16:27

> I know that Lithium has been around for ages and that there are tons of studies on it. It apparently is one of the best studied psych meds studied to date. I suppose I feel that it carries a social stigma. Like only really manic people take Li. I certainly am not manic, but my pdoc has offered my Cytomel (jury is still out on this one) or Li as an augmentation strategy to Effexor. I have this unfounded fear that I will never get off of Effexor. Perhaps, purely coincidental, everytime I do the taper thing, something happens that curtails my plans and I end up back at 225 mg. of Effexor. Blast it all!
> So now I am looking at Li as an add on. What do I need to know and how effective is it? Thanks for all info, both the good, bad, and the ugly.
> :) AnneL

Hi, one thing you might find helpful is that you may not need much of a dose to have a clearly helpful effect. A lot of unipolar depressives only need 300-600mg/day to make a big difference (if it is going to work). The side effects can be a hassle (frequent thirst, urination, diarrhea, cognitive problems), but are dose-related. Get baseline thyroid function blood tests before you start. Li can depress thyroid function (often does to some extent). You'll have to get blood draws for serum lithium levels, and after a few weeks at a stable dosage.. need to recheck the thyroid function. It it changes significantly--you may have to quit the lithium or add thyroid hormone back int to offset that effect.




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