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Tapering off lithium

Posted by wearybuthopeful on February 15, 2005, at 17:59:36 [reposted on February 15, 2005, at 23:59:55 | original URL]

For several reasons, including lithium-induced thyroid problems that were corrected for quite a while with Synthroid, my shrink has advised I get off lithium with intention of starting lamictal later.

We're talking bipolar depression (no mania or hypomania except for one episode of hypomania ten years ago on Prozac). My previous doctor of 10 years insisted I have unipolar depression. This guy had a different view so I decided I had little to lost by a lithium trial.

I was at a low dose of the extended release form, 675 mg. Current doc said to drop down to 450 mg. pending latest thyroid lab results (see above post) - it's been 2.5 weeks.

I phoned in my lab results two days ago (he has no fax!) and haven't heard back. He works part time, but I would have expected to hear by now.

He may be annoyed because I indicated I had reduced from 450 mg. to 225 on my own and asked him to let me know if I should go back up to 450 mg. I'm a medical writer and I know how to read research. But I didn't find much on tapering schedule - just a couple references that said 300 mg every 5-7 days. Normally I'm very "compliant!"

Can anyone give me some guidance on a reasonable tapering time frame? Did I jump the gun?

Any thoughts would be most appreciated.

(I feel a bit tired, but that could be thyroid issues - was on the lithium for about 14 months.

Thanks so much in advance.




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