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Unsure about starting lithium :(

(13 Posts)
Pulledapart2015 Fri 13-Nov-15 17:13:18

Is anyone able to help me decide whether I should start lithium (mood stabiliser prescribed by my psychiatrist)

He told this was the most safest choice as it would not effect pregnancy if I got pregnant. We've been trying for some time for no2 child. My g.p however has made me concernEd. According to my g.p lithium can cause cardiac issues in the first trimester. My psychiatrist didn't mention that. What if I fall pregnant? Who should I listen too?

If there is a risk then I'd rather not start taking it. I really want to be a mum again but at the same time I'm scared that if I don't take the lithium my mental health may become worse.

Any advise or experience of lithium would be really helpful.

Heaveniswaiting Fri 13-Nov-15 20:56:13

Can you get a referral to a perinatal psychiatrist? They are the experts in this area.

dontrunwithscissors Fri 13-Nov-15 21:01:43

I was told that under no circumstances should I fall pregnant on lithium because of the dangers of cardiac problems in the baby. i would so as suggested above and ask to speak to a perinatal pdoc.

Pulledapart2015 Fri 13-Nov-15 22:20:11

Thank you both for your replies I really appreciate it. I think I'll speak to my psych team on Monday and ask for a perinatal psychiatrist referral.

Pulledapart2015 Fri 13-Nov-15 22:21:16

I haven't picked up the prescription from G.P yet so I think I'll hold off on that too until I have spoken to someone.

NanaNina Sat 14-Nov-15 14:48:29

Hello pulledapart if you're the same person who posted on the village thread. I seem to remember you had a variety of health problems but can't remember them all now. What is the lithium for? I'm taking it for depression and it hasn't done any good up till now, but I'm not trying to get pregnant at 71!!! I don't think it's safe if you are trying to conceive. Are you feeling better now - sorry if I'm mixing you up with someone else but weren't you living with your family - hope you're better anyway.

I've had an awful year, with day on day depression with very little respite. I'm thoroughly worn out with it and none of the meds work.

Pulledapart2015 Sat 14-Nov-15 20:26:01

Hi Nana,

Yes its the same person. I dropped off the village thread a while ago and well things have just been bad to worse with my physical health. It has effected my mental health too causing a few in hospital stays aswell. All that aside I really want to be a mum again but it doesn't seem to be happening. Im waiting for a gynae appt which could be sometime sad but most recently my mood has been very up and down so at my last psychiatrist visit he decided to start me on a mood stabiliser (lithium). I told him I was trying for a baby and he said this was the safest option confused so I'm really concerned now. I really don't know what to do. I've been thinking I'm not.getting pregnant anyway so maybe I should just start them and come off them after I've had my gynae appt. I dunno I'm just confused

I'm so sorry to hear you have had an awful year ((( hugs ))) I understand about the meds not working I think I've reached that point with them also. I think that's y my psychiatrist is trying to change and add new meds. I can't remember names of other ladies but is the village thread still about? How are they all going? X

dontrunwithscissors Sun 15-Nov-15 15:28:03

Obviously I'm no medical expert, but my pdoc was very, very emphatic that I must not get pregnant on lithium. She even then posted me a letter stating that a week later as she said she liked to be sure that women understood the risks. A perinatal pdoc referral sounds like the best way. I think I've heard of people taking quetiapine while pregnant.

By the way, are you taking any other meds? Some (eg Risperidone) can increase prolactin levels, which would definitely affect your ability to get pregnant

Anastasie Sun 15-Nov-15 15:30:43

Have you been offered any talking therapy? I'm not trying to second guess your psych but I found CBT very very helpful, I think the ideal is to offer some sort of talking thing alongside meds (though I didn't take meds - my psych didn't like me because of that : )

Pulledapart2015 Fri 20-Nov-15 09:43:04

I'm on various medications for my mental health so wouldn't be surprised if that is the reason I'm not falling pregnant. I will need to look into it and read up on which ones raise prolactin levels.

Im on the waiting list for talking therapy but it may be a while before it gets started.

Thank you for your responses.

dontrunwithscissors Fri 20-Nov-15 12:17:44

So am I correct in interpreting from your post that you're currently taking meds and TTC? I think you need to see a perinatal pdoc urgently to clarify how safe the existing medications are. Sodium valproate, for example, is a very dangerous medication for pregnancy.

Pulledapart2015 Fri 20-Nov-15 12:37:53

I've been told the current meds I'm on are safe in the event of pregnancy. The only one my psychiatrist pointed out was the mood stabiliser. He said lithium was the least harmful out of other mood stabiliser's he did mention sodium valporate as well. I haven't started the mood stabiliser (lithium) yet as I wanted to look into first. To be honest I really don't think I'll be taking it now. The risk is too high in case I do fall pregnant miraculously. As for the other meds I think I need to see a perinatal pdoc before continuing ttc.

NanaNina Fri 20-Nov-15 14:09:45

Hi pulledapart I dropped off the village thread too, as I think it had run it's course and there wasn't much "traffic" on the thread. Think you've been told the wrong thing about lithium and pregnancy and that's a big mistake for a psychiatrist to make. I'm taking it 400mgs and having weekly blood tests but no improvement in my depression. And it makes me really tired and dopey. My CPN says I need to take it for 6 months as it can take a long time to work!!

Do you feel well enough to cope with another baby - think you have a little girl don't you. Are you still living with your family?

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