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I am taking 1200 mg lithium day. I recently had a blood level done and it came back at 0.4. How can this be? I feel great, no mood swing, very little depression. Is it possible that I am getting benefit from lithium even though it's not at a theraputic level?

I asked my doctor but she didn't say much. My nurse said it's really low. I can't imagine taking a higher dose...

thanks,

jen

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I know everyone is different- but I got toxic on slightly less than your dose.

It does seem like alot to be such a low level- if you feel good that's great, but I would think another test would be in order, in case there was a mixup or something.

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Yes, levels/doses will always vary per person and the effects of the levels will vary as well. I was OK at 900 mg but got rather toxic at 1200 mg, for instance.

My take? If the dose you are taking is working, then the dose you are taking is working.

Mmmmkay?

I mean, therapeutic levels and all are nice, but in the end they're really just a guideline. In the land of psych meds there is no be-all end-all measure, no perfect yardstick by whioch to compare results. The only true comparison is, hey...do I feel better now than I did before?

If you do, then you win! If you don't, roll the dice again.

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Lithium dosage versus blood level can not be reliably predicted. Each individual has their own clearance rate (through the kidneys). You happen to be a very fast clearer.

What is really good news is that you are feeling great, at a fairly low blood level. So, if you ever start sinking, you have lots of room to increase. BTW, the PI sheet suggests 1800mg as a starting dosage for acute mania, and I know others here have mentioned being on at least as high as 2200-2400mg. But again, the blood levels are what's important.

cheers, a.m.

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I was on a dose of 2100mg of lithium to get to a 'therapeutic' blood level. I had lots of side effects, but it seemed to contribute to this headache problem I was having (Pseudotumor Cerebri--increased pressure in my cerebral spinal fluid). So we reduced the lithium aiming to get rid of it. Well I can't get below 600mg/day without problems. My blood level is .326. Something is working with it. We've decided to leave it alone. I'm happy where it is at. I don't have any side effects and far less headache issues.

Oreo

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