Has anyone out there tried Lithium?

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I've herd some bad things about it could someone give me the specifics of it.for treating deprsssion?

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  • Posted

    To my knowledge Lithium isn't usually prescribed for depression. Normally it is used for manic depression (bipolar) as a `mood stabiliser' and is best for people who tend towards the `high' or `manic' side. It is a very toxic drug and has to be very carefully monitored with regular blood tests. If levels get too high from poor monitoring it can be fatal. Check the side-effects on the web. There are a few that weren't, last time I looked, on the more popular websites, they are depression, `psycho' motor retardation, (this is actually toxic motor retardation,i.e.caused by the drug, not the mind and means that you are slowed right down, barely moving, or thinking either), and suicide. These can be found, but buried deep in the advertising. It put me in the hospital because of the poor monitoring, made me savagely depressed for years and in the end, nearly killed me. However, some people with bipolar swear by it. (I don't have bipolar)

    Good Luck

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    • Posted

      I can't talk about the experience you had because you lived it. However, your reported side effects seem odd. First off, Lithium is a very old drug so there's not much to be made through advertisement. One of Lithium's most common uses is in the treatment of resistant depression. While you may not of head of Lithium for depression, it's very real. After all, Lithium doesn't only treat mania but also depression associated with BP 1 or 2. Lithium is the only drug in the world proven to prevent suicide. I have never heard of Lithium causing depression, actually, it does the exact opposite. I'm sorry for what you went through. It's obvious your doctor had no idea what he was doing and this is evident through how much Lithium he gave you. I would highly recommend you never see that doctor again. Lithium is quite easy to monitor and if your doctor can't do that right he's no good. Remember, basically any drug can be toxic is large amounts. Overdosing on most drugs would cause this reaction, and you did, indeed, overdoes on Lithium.

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    • Posted

      i dont have bipolar but psych has tried all other anti deps for anxiety.. i am worried he will give me lithium next. how did you get off it intact and did you find a medication to suit?

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  • Posted

    yeah deee, I did a little reading myself and from the looks of it, I'm not going to like it. But i will give it a try anyway. If it made me feel like the paxil did then game over.
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  • Posted

    Hopefully not `game over', maybe just a new partner. (I'm watching Antique Roadshow' and they're talking about the Princess Victoria's dance card
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  • Posted

    Using lithium is a matter for each psychiatrist who will make a judgement on whether a patient's condition and descriptions warrant using it. It is often used for those who are judged to be bipolar but rarely straight away. Lithium seems to be aded to another drug, such as fluoxetine, but ask what it does and how nobody seems to know, yet. Obviously it has had some beneficial effect in sufficient cases for its continued use.

    What has to be done is to keep a regular check on the amout of lithium retained in the body so if taking it then you will be told to come back regularly for a blood test. Do not let this be overlooked.

    The problem with bipolar diagnosis is that they find it most difficult to separate from autism, particularly high functioning autism or Asperger Syndrome so this had lead to numbers of misdiagnoses. Older psychiatrists tend to think bipolar first but as autism gets more and more attention the test for that should be used automatically.

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    • Posted

      Lithium is not commonly used in conjunction with Prozac. A anti depressant is one of the worst options to use in BP patients. In BP patients, anti depressants are known to cause manic episodes. They are a big no no. The only combination that seems to work in patients with BP is Zyprexa and Prozac together. No other combination with Prozac id readily used in BP patients.

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  • Posted

    well girls and guys, the reason this subject came about was......A doctor who was I guess hired by the insurance agency (Humana) was to visit everyone's home to get a regular checkup. Why... I don't know.but I'm glad he did.We went though a lot of my meds I was taking. Asked questions such as who had cancer or TB in the family etc. When he got to my apt. It was clear to see that something wasn't right. with my papers scattered all over the place.I told him what ops I had been through and I gave him a list of how many anti-depressants I tried and none worked. He could see clearly that I needed help.He said there would be other agencies calling me back. He also mentioned that I am not manic depressive, but I was bipolar. Then we got on the discussion of what meds I would be looking at was Lithium!. If this is what he wants to treat me with I surely hopes he gets a good team.
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    • Posted

      Just FYI - Manic Depression is the SAME as bipolar. It's just an outdated name for it. There are also now classifications for bipolar such as I or II, rapid cycling, etc, because we have learned so much more about the condition.and variations. 

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  • Posted

    A couple of things. I've never heard of bipolar being confused with autism. The only thing I would ask about this is whether this confusion is found in attempts to diagnose children as young as two? (Even the thought of this worries me deeply). I've also never heard of Lithium being prescribed for anything other than bipolar. Manic-depression is just the old name for bipolar, they are the same thing. I can't imagine why a doctor would say that you have one not the other, Pat.

    But then, I did hear of a psychiatrist who said that ECT gave you a seizure but not a convulsion!?! (It's called `electroCONVULSIVE therapy'!)

    In the last 10-15 years there has been a proliferation of bipolar diagnoses, 7 different ones, last heard. A pastdoctor of mine, a Professor, who is claimed to be a world leader in bipolar diagnosis and treatment knew them all. We had some lively discussions about that. (He was impressed by some of my drawings in 2002 and one was published on the cover of the American Journal of Psychiatry, as a `bipolar' drawing!? It wasn't to me, but I got paid for it, so...) But `autism?' In adults?

    Lithium's anti-manic properties were discovered in the late 1950s by an Australian psychiatrist called John Cade. He was before my time but was superintendent at Larundel Psychiatric Hospital, Melbourne,where I trained in the 70s. We only ever used it as a mood stabiliser in manic-depression. I have to say that most psychiatrists will not give an anti-depressant such as fluoxetine, to people with bipolar as there is a tendency for it to flip people into a manic episode or into `rapid cycling' mood swings. You're absolutely right about the possibility of toxic levels of lithium building in the body, jaguar. As I said it can be nasty if not properly controlled.

    In view of what the visiting doctor said about Manic-Depression being different from BiPolar, it might be an idea to get another opinion if you can, Pat. Before you take anything I think you should ask him why he came to the conclusion that; a) you have it and b) why does he say they are different? I'd be very wary of a doctor who said that. Maybe there's a reason he works for the insurance company?

    Another thing, have you ever had any of the anti-psychotics? Seroquel, Zyprexa, Epilem, Risperodone (rough side-effects)? As you know I don't like drugs but, sometimes the emotional `flattening' you get from those might help in the short term. Just a thought. The anti-psychotics are often used in bipolar/manic-depression, because they, too, have the effect of reducing the intensity of emotion, i.e. mood stabilisation, and are not as toxic as Lithium. All of them will eventually cause a problem, but in the very short term they might help a bit.

    Good Luck with it.

    PS: I saw something extraordinary last night. A drug called Ketamine. An article in the Lancet claims: `A randomized placebo-controlled study in 18 patients conducted at the US NIH and published in 2006, found ketamine significantly improved treatment-resistant major depression within hours of injection that lasted up to one week after the single dose.[87] NIMH director Dr. Thomas Insel remarked:"To my knowledge, this is the first report of any medication or other treatment that results in such a pronounced, rapid, prolonged response with a single dose. These were very treatment-resistant patients." !!! "Emergency" ECT? A thing of the past? Apparently it outperformed ECT SIGNIFICANTLY! So no memory loss or cognitive dysfunction either! And bonus, a side effect of having an hallucinatiory "trip", and impressive pain control as well! WOW!

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  • Posted

    deee, thanks for your input.believe me I will check and double check before I take anything..One thing he did say that I agree with is he seems to think it is chemically motivated and he is going to send a team of pro's to look at me. No I will take all into consideration before I make a decision.and a careful one at that. Thanks for the good luck. I will need it with all that is on my plate.
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