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Lithium Dose goes up blood levels go down?

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Guest Kittypet

Has anyone experienced this?

After 8ish months at 600 mg, my doctor upped it to 900 mg. I took a blood test today and my blood levels actually went DOWN. Does that make any sense?


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Hi kittypet!

Lithium levels can vary for several reasons. It has been demonstrated that people in the throws of a manic episode force the lithium level down, and when they recover the level comes up again. Another oddity is that many people have their lithium levels rise with the oncoming of spring and summer, and the drop again in the fall. Changes in perspiration and water consumption can have effect.

So. After I had been on lithium for about 2 years my level dropped despite no change in dosage. We hiked it up to get back into a theurapeutic range. It may be that our kidneys just became more efficient at eliminating the lithium salt. But hey! As long as it still works.... ;)


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Depends on if the lab was taken at the same interval - if you took a higher dose but further from the time of the test, then it wouldn't be surprising at all to see a lower level.

Other medications can drop lithium level, as can things like caffeine and dark chocolate.

It's summer - are you drinking much more water than usual?

There is some lithium level variance just with the seasons, and sometimes lithium levels drop in acute mania - not before the mania, during the mania, in inpatients who have monitored medications.

Renal changes can result in a reduction in level, but that would be reflected on the rest of your blood work.

ETA: oops, crossposted with AM! ;)

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