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Lithium Insights?

(10 Posts)
hefzi Tue 12-Jan-16 13:22:57

I asked MN to pull my previous stream of consciousness - apologies for inflicting that on you all! However, I would be very interested to hear about anyone's experiences of lithium.

I have been told by my psych that it will take at least 6 months to have a discernible effect, and that it's necessary to take for a minimum of two years. I am wondering how those of you who are on it find it, whether you have noticed an improvement and how quickly - and also whether you have suffered at all with weight gain etc.

Thank you!

NanaNina Tue 12-Jan-16 14:07:51

I've PMed you hefzi but for others who might be interested, I have been taking lithium since Sept - first 200mg - increased to 400 mg and I think it's made a difference for the better. I think 400mg is still a low dose but it's because of my age - they keep the levels low with "older people" - I've been having weekly blood tests but haven't had one for a few weeks. I haven't had any side effects and yes my psych told me it can take months to take effect.

hefzi Wed 13-Jan-16 01:19:29

Thank you, Nana! I keep forgetting to check for messages with the new system...

It's really good to read that you do feel it's led to an improvement and there are no side effects so far: you've made me feel more confident already.

timelytess Wed 13-Jan-16 01:29:58

My mother was on lithium for over fifty years. She had a lithium-greedy goitre . Her late in life dose was 600mg but my dad cut her back to 200 and she was fine on that. She had three-monthly blood tests. She slow-overdosed herself and gave herself kidney failure. The doctors occasionally overdosed her by giving wrong prescriptions - I remember a terrified pharmacist turning up at the house saying she was on a lethal dose. Some of the time she had a near-normal life.

hefzi Thu 14-Jan-16 14:51:10

Thank you, tess - interesting to read that: I knew it had been in use for a long time, but hadn't realise it was over 50 years.

NanaNina Thu 14-Jan-16 19:22:18

Hmm thought it was too good to be true. Had 3 bad days but the difference is I can force myself out and appear "normal" which I haven't been able to do before. It's an effort and have only gone to the shops but it's better than not going out of the house. I'm disappointed though because I've been so much better for 6 weeks but why aren't I used to thee fluctuations after 6 years!! I'm seeing psych on 4/2 so he might increase the dose.

QuickQuickNo Thu 14-Jan-16 21:08:11

I've been on lithium for 8 years (bar stopping for pregnancies and breastfeeding). It really is a wonder drug for me, no side effects. I am obviously very ill when I have to stop taking it. I still get downs and ups but not to the same severity/degree.

QuickQuickNo Thu 14-Jan-16 21:09:45

Oh and I think it takes about 4-6 weeks to have an effect when I've stopped taking it before and then restarted.

Themadcleaner Thu 14-Jan-16 21:16:08

I've been I lithium at 600mg for about 9 months. No real side effects other than needing to wee more and thirstier than before.
Think I felt a improvement within a few weeks.
My mood is much more stable and the long term plan is to stay on it for at least 5 years.
No weight gain but weight loss does seem a bit harder.
Good luck x

hefzi Sun 17-Jan-16 01:47:47

Oh, NanaNina what a bummer! Sorry to hear you've been having some bad days - though I suppose that at least being able to leave home at a push is "better" than not: but I know how disappointing it is when you think things are improving and then you're set back flowers

Thanks, Quick and Themadcleaner for your experiences: I think after reading this thread, you've all made me a lot more positive about it, and definitely a lot less scared. Thanks so much to everyone who's shared - if it improves things from where we're at at the moment, I think it has to be worthwhile from my perspective. I've had some pretty shitty side effects from venlafaxine, some of which are still around, but they are better than the alternative, and hopefully, that'll be the case with the lithium - unless I get super lucky and don't get any at all grin I can already wee for England, so I might consider investing in a commode wink

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