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Medicine making me sick. If you are not bipolar will lithium make you sick?


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#1 Izzythekitty

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 10:36 PM

My lithium levels are .5 ??? So my pdoc upped my doage to 900mg and my lomotragine to 100mg. The last two days I have been throwing up. I have tried eating before taking the meds. It sucks I was just starting to feel better. He upped it because he said I am still in transition and wantd to get me off of my other antidepressant. He made a comment that one way they can tell if someone is or is not bipolar is that people that are not bipolar can not tolerate the medicines. What do you all think about this. Also does the nausea go away and when?




#2 lottacrazy

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 11:10 PM

That does seem to make sense...if you dont have diabetes and you take insuline it will make you very sick so I suppose the same goes for psych meds...you may want to look up on web md or something to see if they have anything on there about adverse side effects, they might have something there...other wise I would call your pdoc or his/her emergency number and see what they say. You may/may not have a stomach bug and it is just coincidence, I would think that if you werent bipolar and taking a med like lithium that you would have a psych side effect more than just physical...racing thoughts, irritability etc.
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#3 Silver

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 11:53 PM

Lithium can make you nauseated whether you have bipolar disorder or not.

Eating before you take it can help.

The nausea gets better with time.

Drinking enough fluids can help.

Some people find that ginger tea, candied ginger, etc., help.


Lamictal can cause nausea as well (bipolar or not.)


The presence or absence of nausea has nothing to do with whether or not you have bipolar disorder, I'm afraid.
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#4 AirMarshall

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 12:26 AM

I WISH it were true. Because then we would have a true diagnostic test for a mental illness. As it is we have no physical tests for mental illness. We must depend on pychiatrists keen sense of observation.

I recommend taking your lithium during a meal. I have even gone so far as to eat half the food before taking the tablets. Ginger ale and soda crackers helped me through the first month or so of both lithium and lamictal.

If things don't improve after a week or so call your pdoc. He will probably recommned reducing the dose and increasing it more slowly.

Hope you feel better soon.

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#5 sirwriter

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 10:40 AM

;) :) :)

I WISH it were true. Because then we would have a true diagnostic test for a mental illness. As it is we have no physical tests for mental illness. We must depend on pychiatrists keen sense of observation.

I recommend taking your lithium during a meal. I have even gone so far as to eat half the food before taking the tablets. Ginger ale and soda crackers helped me through the first month or so of both lithium and lamictal.

If things don't improve after a week or so call your pdoc. He will probably recommned reducing the dose and increasing it more slowly.

Hope you feel better soon.

a.m.


Lithium made me sick too. Ginger ale and soda crackers are an old stand by of mine for upset stomachs. I even found a recipe in Mother Earth that shows you how to make ginger ale, and vary the potency/taste of the ginger. I haven't tried it yet. My Pdoc was searching for a med to serve as a general mood stabilizer. We'd tried Topamax (I was a zombie), Dopakote ER, Tegretol (Anger, rage, mania) Lamictal (Which worked beautifully for about 18 months and then one day just stopped working), and finally settled on Trileptal, first cousin to Tegretol. I've gone from an initial dose of 300 mg twice daily to 1800 mg over the course of a year and a half. I haven't killed anyone yet, but can still go from an amiable person, stimulated by the right argument or situation to an enraged animal, saliva dripping from my fangs. Admittedly, a few years ago this happened almost daily. Now it happens perhaps 3 times a year.

I have Bipolar friends (I am Bipolar I now, and on SS disability) whom all have dissimilar reactions to the same drug. For a while we collectively shared maintaining a journal on the reactions of the same drug in all of us. Because the results were so varying as well as the side effects, we gave it up after almost two years. It was a lesson in futility. One thing I learned, at least for me: going on a new med or a replacement one for a few weeks is not nearly long enough. You need something like six months, IMHO, before you can say you truly know how your system reacted with that med. Some of the drugs I thought at first were going to be "THE MED", turned out to be intolerable after 3 or 4 months.

Sorry to ramble on like that....

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#6 Izzythekitty

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 08:07 PM

My pdoc is moving to Arizona so I will be transfering to another pdoc in the same office. He is a good pdoc. Talks alot and doesn't listen but a good pdoc. I am sure he did not say this as it was a fact perhaps what he has experienced with some patience. I am feeling much better know. I wonder if i did have some bug. i am still feeling lazy like I don't have a lot of energy. i wake up at 7:30 and go back to bed after i get the kids off to school until aaround 12. I hate it. I have gained 10 pound since on the meds. i suppose i need to be patient and give all of this time.



#7 LadyJ

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:36 PM

I was given 900mg a day, and she told me to spread it out to "my liking" 2 or 3x per day, as long as i was taking 900mg in one day. I was only on 300mg a day before, and it helped but not "all the way". So when i got home, i took 2 pills (=600mg) and OMG it made me really slow, it made things really slow. It chilled me out a lot, but it was strange. so i might try splitting the 900 into 3 seperate doses for the day, because i took 2 this morning again 600mg and i had a job interview for waitress, well i went in there, and i was "smiley" and stuff. but i was like slowed down, and the interviewer had no idea how much trouble i had filling out the application, i couldn't even figure out how to write today's date. When he told me the date was August 12th, i had a really hard time trying to put that into number terms (ex-8-12-10) i don't know if he noticed how confused i was. it took me SO LONG to fill out the application. I was thinking there would be NO WAY that i could be trying to remember people's orders and wait tables feeling that foggy. I feel good and calm, but foggy. it's strange. & i've never waited tables before, so i need to make sure i'm more coherent, so i'll lighten up the dose. & i've been on it for a while, and i only got the munchies today. like right now i feel like eating even though i just ate, so i'm trying really hard to control NOT EATING, because i absolutely do not want that side effect. but so far, this seems like a pretty good med. but i'm still a little manic, because i can't stop typing and writing on facebook. idk anywayz, that's it. lol bye

#8 etkearne

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 06:46 PM

I am as bipolar as anyone else, I take Lithium (not even that high of a dose), and it makes me sick. I usually don't throw up (that was maybe the 1st week of treatment), but I take all 1200mg at once in immediate-release before I go to bed to minimize the hand tremors in the day (it works- I barely take my Propranolol), but man, for like 30 minutes I feel insanely nauseous. Other than that side-effect, and the transient hand tremor (which is easily treated by like 10mg Propranolol), Lithium has no side effects for me, so I choose to stay on it.
Diagnosis- Bipolar Type I - Rapid Cycling, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Opioid Dependency (in remission)

Present Medications (in total daily dose)- Lithium Carbonate (600mg), Zyprexa (10mg), Suboxone Film (4mg), Efffexor XR (225mg), Concerta (54mg), Klonopin (1-2mg)


Attempts- Imipramine, Amitryptamine, Lexapro, Paxil, Risperdal, Trileptal, Lamictal, Cymbalta, Abilify, Wellbutrin, Seroquel, Adderall

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#9 Guest_Bookworm_*

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 11:03 PM

I was having bad side effects on only 300mg of Lithium. After a couple of months, my p-doc finally switched me to a different formulation (same dosage). Many of my side effects (including nausea and tremors) went away.

I'm not sure why my psychiatrist waited so long. I guess, he thought I would eventually get used to the medicine and was trying to help keep med costs down for me.

You may want to try toughing it out for a while and see if your body adapts. If not, a different formulation may significantly lessen the side effects for you. Good luck!

#10 domovoi

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 03:19 PM

He made a comment that one way they can tell if someone is or is not bipolar is that people that are not bipolar can not tolerate the medicines. What do you all think about this. Also does the nausea go away and when?


i think that it's baloney. please find another psychiatrist who actually knows what they're doing. most people get sick as a side effect of lithium. as with any element, elevated amounts of lithium in the body are essentially toxic (serum level of over 1mmoL being "slightly" poisonous) and whoever has a medical degree AND suggests that bipolar people on lithium do not feel sick is a f***** moron. someone brought up diabetes in this thread: diabetic people need insulin because they do not have enough naturally-occurring insulin produced in their bodies to regulate glucose levels. healthy people do. thus, taking insulin while being healthy is going to make you sick (if not kill you) because you're taking an EXCESS of insulin. being bipolar does NOT mean not having enough lithium in the brain - that's bollocks! when you have a headache, does that mean you don't have enough naturally-occurring aspirin in your brain????

good news is nausea does go away, at least for me. it took about 4-5 months though; i nausea all day long gradually receding over months to a couple of hours in the morning, then stopping altogether. my pdoc prescribed the whole dose BID (before bed) so nausea is less in the morning, also recommended against splitting dose to morning-evening, as that makes nausea 24/7.

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#11 Not me

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 03:44 AM

The nausea was gone the instant I started taking it with food, Now a bit down the track I can take it with a glass of water and get no side effects.

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#12 Laume

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 09:04 AM

My pdoc started me at 900 mg off the bat. I had some nausea, but nothing like what you are saying. Try the spacing it out, and call your pdoc.
As an aside, my sister's ex, stupid pdoc told her that lithium was a test for bipolarity...my sister took it for 3 weeks and fet no different at all - no good stuff or bad side-effects so she was taken off it and told she was not BP. What a quack.
Hope you're okay.

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Diagnoses: BP I; PTSD; Borderline tendencies (whatever the hell those are)

Current meds:  200 mg co-sertraline, 5 mg Abilify, 3 mg xanax

 

Med cocktail that worked but I am off for financial reasons BOOHOO: Depakote 1000 mg; Co-Sertraline 200 mg; Welbutrin XL 300 mg; Abilify 5 mg; Xanax 3 mg; Imovaine 7.5 mg; Synthroid 0.01 mg
Extras: B6/12, Vitamin D 4000 iu.



past meds: Citalopram (meh), Effexor (meh), Remeron (made me VERY ANGRY and agitated and want to cut myself), Risperidone (who needs to have clear vision ?), Paxil (goodbye you evil substance) Lithium 900 mg (levels dropped, couldn't up dose without side-effects so it is goodbye old helpful friend and thanks for the crazy elevated Thyroid hormones as your parting gift), restoril - did nothing, Trazodone (something had to go to try Welburtin, so its bye bye for now zombie med)


#13 Billyboyboo

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 05:42 AM

Yes it can because it did me, though I'm diagnosed with Bipolar.. The Lithium made me sickly feeling after a couple of months.

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DX: Schizophrenia, Epilepsy, PTSD, Panic and Anxiety disorders.


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#14 Guest_Silo_*

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 11:15 AM

As an aside, my sister's ex, stupid pdoc told her that lithium was a test for bipolarity... What a quack.

LOL. So what is supposed to happen? Our hair turns purple if we have bipolar and green if we don't? ;)

#15 ChemistryExperiment

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 01:08 PM


As an aside, my sister's ex, stupid pdoc told her that lithium was a test for bipolarity... What a quack.

LOL. So what is supposed to happen? Our hair turns purple if we have bipolar and green if we don't? :)


LOL. Its like an indicator in chemistry, if you observe a color change, you MUST be bipolar ;)

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#16 Guest_leah_*

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 08:14 PM

I'm a 30 year old female with bipolar II, and I'm currently on 1500 mgs of lithium a day (2 pills in am, 3 pills at night). My psychiatrist told me the same thing when I asked if lithium was appropriate. He said the fact I can tolerate such a high dose is basically testament to the existence of my disease. I too doubted the truth in his claim. I think he was just trying to prevent me from stopping my meds. Has anyone investigated the legitimacy of statements similar to what my dr. told me?

#17 Laume

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 09:37 PM

Unlike what my sisters' ex-quack told her, if Li @ high dose = bipolar patient was true, it would be a litmus test for diagnosis. It's not.

I don't like to consider myself mentally ill, I prefer the term mentally interesting.


Diagnoses: BP I; PTSD; Borderline tendencies (whatever the hell those are)

Current meds:  200 mg co-sertraline, 5 mg Abilify, 3 mg xanax

 

Med cocktail that worked but I am off for financial reasons BOOHOO: Depakote 1000 mg; Co-Sertraline 200 mg; Welbutrin XL 300 mg; Abilify 5 mg; Xanax 3 mg; Imovaine 7.5 mg; Synthroid 0.01 mg
Extras: B6/12, Vitamin D 4000 iu.



past meds: Citalopram (meh), Effexor (meh), Remeron (made me VERY ANGRY and agitated and want to cut myself), Risperidone (who needs to have clear vision ?), Paxil (goodbye you evil substance) Lithium 900 mg (levels dropped, couldn't up dose without side-effects so it is goodbye old helpful friend and thanks for the crazy elevated Thyroid hormones as your parting gift), restoril - did nothing, Trazodone (something had to go to try Welburtin, so its bye bye for now zombie med)


#18 Guest_whiteknight_*

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 11:16 AM

I have taken the lithium for 1 month and completely quit has any one of us felt the need to play the role of our own doctor and try to figure out eating the correct foods getting the correct amount of sleep controlling the condition on your own rather listen to a doctor that writes you off as bipolar because of a stupid incident that could happen to anyone.

#19 AnneMarie

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 12:34 PM

I have taken the lithium for 1 month and completely quit has any one of us felt the need to play the role of our own doctor and try to figure out eating the correct foods getting the correct amount of sleep controlling the condition on your own rather listen to a doctor that writes you off as bipolar because of a stupid incident that could happen to anyone.

It is fairly common for people with bipolar to quit medicine. Lack of or diminished introspection also is common to mental illness. This is linked to often thinking that once one if fine on medicine they are cured and no longer need medicine when in reality it was the medicine that is making them fine. There also can be a tendancy to think this first medicine was not good, so why bother try others when in actuality one of the next meds would improve the quality of life if only the person hung in there.

It's estimated that around 30% of people with bipolar attempt suicide, 15-20% succeed. The statistic is alarming. The stat is lower for those successfully treated with medicine.

Each episode of depression or mania causes loss of grey brain matter and possibly white matter. That is, they cause brain damage.

Cycling and severity increase as one ages.

Just some stuff to consider.

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