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Lithium levels & dosages


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#1 klingon001

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 01:47 PM

My lithium blood level is really low, according to the doctor in the hospital. I'm on 900mg. I'm wondering, what is the average lithium dosage for someone with bipolar or schizoaffective?


#2 syNapseOuttaVit

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 02:38 PM

Good question. My doc just put me on Lithium a week ago, 300mg, to start, and I had my first blood level done today so it's likely my dose will be doubled to 600mg later this week. According to my pdoc, a good Lithium level is between .6-.8 but close to 1 is too high and less than .6 is too low for any good effects. Everyone is going to process the drug differently, so 900mg might be low for you but could be through the roof for me. The blood panels is what made me avoid Lithium for so long. I hate getting blood taken.
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#3 AirMarshall

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 02:57 PM

Lithium is one of those unusual drugs that do not have a standard correlation between amount taken and blood level. Lamictal is another one. Each individual processes them at different rates.

Lithium also has a very narrow range between maximum effective dose and toxicity level. Therefore, blood levels must be checked approximately a week after dosages changes. (Lamictal is much safer and typically doesn't require blood monitoring.)

The manufacturers' PI sheet indicates that 0.6 - 1.2 milliequivalents (meq) is the "typically effective" blood level range. Toxic effects are expected 1.5meq, and negative effects may be experienced at lower levels. Typical starting dosage are suggested at around 300mg and 1800mg if overtly manic.

Now, these are numbers are guidelines. You and your doctor will determine what blood levels and dosages are best for you based on your brain and body responses.

Milliequivalents is a mouthful to say, so people usually just drop it and refer to the numbers "My level was 0.9".

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#4 bpladybug

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 03:18 PM

Well, what IS you blood level? What does your doctor consider low?
My dose averages between 900 mgs and 1200 mgs.

My level averages between 0.8 - 1.0

This works for me.


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'Mania is a dangerous Mistress.' BPLadybug

Bipolar 1
Treatment: 900 mgs Lithium, 900 mgs Neurontin, 400 mgs Seroquel, Xanax prn, Temazepam, fish oil, vitamins, Vit. D 5, 000 IU, exercize, some talk therapy and CBT Therapy. Exercize helps as does the Light Box; 30 mins every morning. I also have physical health challenges.


#5 klingon001

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 04:15 PM

I think my level was 0.3.

#6 bpladybug

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 04:38 PM

well that is quite low, though some people experience a positive benefit at a low level
how do you feel? do you feel more stable?
If I were in your shoes I would not hesitate to increase to 1200 mgs.
Does your doctor want to increase your dose?
I have met bipolar people in support groups who took 1500 or 1800 mgs, though that would be too much for me.

Just make sure your doctor does frequent blook work until you have this figured out.


Edited by bpladybug, 07 March 2011 - 04:39 PM.

ladybuglove.jpg


'Mania is a dangerous Mistress.' BPLadybug

Bipolar 1
Treatment: 900 mgs Lithium, 900 mgs Neurontin, 400 mgs Seroquel, Xanax prn, Temazepam, fish oil, vitamins, Vit. D 5, 000 IU, exercize, some talk therapy and CBT Therapy. Exercize helps as does the Light Box; 30 mins every morning. I also have physical health challenges.


#7 crtclms

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 08:59 PM

My dad has had patients respond to as low as .4, but usually they had a brain injury (which made them more sensitive to it, please don't ask me to recall why). But .4 is as low as he has found therapeutic. I know he likes .6-.9, and is happier when it is closer to .6.

Edited by crtclms, 08 March 2011 - 09:01 PM.

Dx: Bipolar 1; GAD; Migraine w/ Aura; Migraine w/o Aura; Renal Tubular Acidosis (caused by Zonegran); Status Migrainosus
Rx: Alprazolam; Botox; Buproprion; Dihydroergotomine via IV Infusion; Flexeril; Lamotrigine; Latuda; Lithium; Metoclopramide; Midrin; Migranal; Potassium Citrate; Prilosec; Promethazine; Riboflavin; Tizanidine; Verapamil; Vitamin D3
Currently Shelved: Abilify; Amerge; Anaprox; Atenolol; Buspar; Cafergot; Cymbalta; Depakote; Di-Hydro-ergotamine, injected; Gabapentin; Geodon; Imitrex Tablets; Klonopin; Maxalt; Namenda; Nortriptyline; Norvasc; Propranolol; Prozac; Risperidone; Relpax; Sansert; Sumatriptan injectables; Tegretol; Trazadone; Zoloft; Zolpidem; Zomig; Zonegran


Affectations can be dangerous. -Gertrude Stein

 

I moderate Bipolar, Panic/Anxiety, Dissociative Disorders, Migraine, Seizures, Not Otherwise Specified, Anticonvulsants, Side Effects, Family Feud, and I Still Have Issues. Remember, I am not a medical professional. PM me if you have any questions


#8 sylvan

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 09:02 PM

My level is usually between 0.7 and 1.2. Lately it has been at 1.2. I feel better when it's around 0.9. I believe your level should be between 0.6 and 1.2, that's what my pdoc tells me.

Edited by sylvan, 08 March 2011 - 09:04 PM.

It has been a year since one of the best people that I've ever had the pleasure of knowing passed away. He was strong, intelligent, caring, and honest. I had the honor of calling him Daddy. I will miss both my parents for as long as I live. I hope that I can be even half as good of a spouse, parent, and friend as the two of them were. Life is now forever changed for me. It will never be like it was. That doesn't mean it will all be bad, it will just be different.


#9 netsavy006

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 09:47 PM

From what I know, as sylvan already mentioned, the normal Lithium level range is between .6 and 1.2.

Edited by netsavy006, 08 March 2011 - 09:47 PM.

- Andy -
Dx: Asperger's + Schizoaffective Disorder - Bipolar Type + Panic Disorder w/o Agoraphobia
Rx: Lithium 900mg + Xanax 0.5mg QID + Celexa 10mg + Clozaril 325mg + Propranolol 10mg TID + Centrum + Fish Oil


#10 mj1127

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 03:27 PM

I've had .3 at 900mg. I take 1200mg now and usually range between 0.6 and 0.8, though I've been as high as 1.4 as a result of taking ibuprofen (NSAIDs may raise your level and are best avoided when taking lithium). At 1500mg two days a week and 1200mg the rest of the week, I was between 1.0 and 1.2, but we went back to 1200 because I felt better.
MJ
dx: Bipolar NOS, ADHD, migraine
Rx: Lithium CR 1200mg, Wellbutrin 225mg, Abilify 5mg
, Latuda 20mg, Adderall 20mg BID, Xanax XR .125mg BID
Past Rx: Depakote, Lamictal, Neurontin, Tegretol, Invega, Saphris, Zyprexa,
BuSpar, Dalmane, Klonopin, Adderall XR, Concerta, Ritalin, Ritalin SR, Vyvanse, Anafranil, Elavil, Tofranil, Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Remeron, Wellbutrin SR, Corgard, Inderal, Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata, probably others

#11 wag

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 05:58 PM

I'm at 1 to 1.2 and take 1800mg. I'm also 6'5" and weigh 200 pounds. idk if that is a factor but w/e. Lithium work great for me!!!!:)
Bipolar 1

Neurontin 900mg
Lithium 1800mg

#12 tamagotchi

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 08:31 PM

I am taking 150mg (no that is not a typo), my pdoc has not ordered a test because my dosage is so low, but 150mg seems to actually work for me when combined with my Lamictal. 300mg lithium was too much. I am weird.

dx: bipolar, etc.

rx: lamictal, wellbutrin, camrese, ativan, midrin

(abilify, buspar, concerta, fioricet, focalin, imitrex, intuniv, lithium, propranolol, provigil, prozac, ritalin, strattera, trileptal, valium, vivelle, zyprexa)


#13 MiaB

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 11:56 PM

My last blood level was 0.7 at 750mg. My pdoc said she would prefer 0.8 as a minimum for the crisis period I've been in, but anything over 750mg instantly gives me bad oedema, so we're just sticking with this dose. It really is a drug that seems to react very differently for different people.

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Ex meds:     Alprazolam SR, Amitriptyline, Ativan, Clozapine, Diazepam, Effexor XR, Ritalin, Solian, Tegretol, Thorazine, Trileptal, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Zolpidem, Zopiclone, Zyprexa
 
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