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I want to start out by saying I LOVE this med, I feel so much better since I've been on it, it's helped with my manic states, my states where I feel in a fog and suicidal, it's helped with a lot. But I'm worried I might be having toxicity. I've never had bloodwork. I don't have insurance and i intended to get bloodwork when I first started but I didn't. And my pdoc hasn't insisted on it.

I've been having muscle type spasms. Like a cell phone vibrating on my legs-not too often but often enough for me to wonder why. I also have actual spasms in my back muscles and the back of my lower legs. They do NOT hurt. I read this could be related to Lithium.

I know, call pdoc. But we are having a blizzard for the next two days and I guess just looking for similar experiences, advice, anything in the meantime. i do not want to go off this I would be devastated. i don't feel bad at all otherwise. So maybe this is just me being paranoid. I need to get bloodwork done. I know that. Just in case.

Thanks.

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Too much Lithium will cause the following.

Signs of lithium overdose or poisoning are:

1. Persistent diarrhea.

2. Vomiting or severe nausea.

3. Coarse trembling of hands or legs.

4. Frequent muscle twitching such as pronounced jerking of arms or legs.

5. Blurred vision.

6. Marked dizziness.

7. Difficulty walking.

8. Slurred speech.

9. Irregular heart beat.

10. Swelling of the feet or lower legs.

They get more likely when you're sick. My advise.. cut back on the Lithium till you can get bloodwork and know where you know where you stand.

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I've never had bloodwork. [...] And my pdoc hasn't insisted on it.

That's all kinds of not ok. They should really be insisting on it and probably even refusing to prescribe it without it.

I know, call pdoc. [...] I need to get bloodwork done. I know that.

That's basically what it comes down to, and it looks like you already know what you need to do. Lithium is great stuff, but it really is important to monitor it so it doesn't cause problems and you can keep taking it. At least once you're at a stable level of it, you don't need to get it checked very often, so after all this gets sorted out you probably won't need to worry about it for six months or even a year at a time.

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Nal is right that your doc shouldn't be prescribing it w/o the labs. Lithium toxicity is no trifle. Have you been using any NSAID pain relievers? These can spike your serum level.

Yes I use ibuprofen regularly. I feel really stupid. I need to to do more research, I want to stay on this and I don't want to screw it up. I don't think anything else will work like it has.

thanks for the answers. i'm going to get bloodwork done tomorrow.

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Dump the stoopid feelings, they won't help. But do the research. Lithium has been around a loooong time and there is a wealth of info out there. Yes, it has its' scary aspects, but good knowledge and proper management can offset these. Make sure your first level(s) are not influenced by ibuprofen or other NSAIDS. And do tell your doc about your use. Your dosage will need to be adjusted accordingly. If it's a good med for you, good for you. It's very affordable as mood stabilizers go. And once your dosage is pegged you may need infrequent labs. Do your homework with this med by all means. Good for you to post your concerns. They could be benign. But they could also reflect some level of toxicity. Gots to be safe!

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Thanks, I appreciate it. Normally I do a lot of research, maybe that's why my pdoc perhaps thinks I know more about it than I do. I always thoroughly look into side effects, how others responded to it, all of that. But with Lithium my thought process was:

He says I have bipolar II

I guess I should accept it

Patty Duke... Lithium... $4 list

Me to PDoc: How about Lithium?

Ridiculous I know, and not following up on the labs. I knew about them but don't understand though I will. I am having a lot of muscle spasms that don't hurt but this is something. Hopefully not related to Lithium.

Thanks again I will try not to feel too stupid. :-)

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You have been given a lot of good advice. I just want to add that there is one thing you can do to help yourself while you are snowed in.

Drink extra water. That is the best way to handle this until you can dig out and get a blood level.

In some states you can go to a lab and ask for a blood draw yourself.

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The trembling may be the shakes, not tocicity, which can happen with lithium, and which a beta blocker like propanol can help with. but you won't know until you get blook levels done, which should be every 2 weeks or so upon start up (my opinion).

Try to get blookdwork ASAP if you can.... And what dose do you take? Not that it matters that much, as everyone absorbs differently, so it's possible to be toxic on quite a small dose.

either way, you need pdoc appt ASAP and bloodwork.

Anna

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The trembling may be the shakes, not tocicity, which can happen with lithium, and which a beta blocker like propanol can help with. but you won't know until you get blook levels done, which should be every 2 weeks or so upon start up (my opinion).

Try to get blookdwork ASAP if you can.... And what dose do you take? Not that it matters that much, as everyone absorbs differently, so it's possible to be toxic on quite a small dose.

either way, you need pdoc appt ASAP and bloodwork.

Anna

hi. I take 1200 mg. I definitely have the hand tremors but they come and go. The weirder things i feel are the muscle spams and the vibrating feeling like a cell phone on my muscles. I have noticed on and off blurred vision but thats it of the listed toxic symptoms. I already drink a lot of water as i get dry mout from my clonidine. I had a terrible reaction to propranolol so i cant take that. The cogentin i take is for abilify akathesia and appears to have no effect on my hand tremors or other symptoms.

I couldnt get in today for bloodwork bc i had the free clinic hours wrong. They r open 2morrow but idk if the lab is as they use the hospitals.

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hi. I take 1200 mg. I definitely have the hand tremors but they come and go. The weirder things i feel are the muscle spams and the vibrating feeling like a cell phone on my muscles. I have noticed on and off blurred vision but thats it of the listed toxic symptoms. I already drink a lot of water as i get dry mout from my clonidine. I had a terrible reaction to propranolol so i cant take that. The cogentin i take is for abilify akathesia and appears to have no effect on my hand tremors or other symptoms.

I couldnt get in today for bloodwork bc i had the free clinic hours wrong. They r open 2morrow but idk if the lab is as they use the hospitals.

If you're not able to get the results quickly, you may want to knock it down to 900 just for now. I don't want to play doctor here.. but I have to be honest, if it were me, that's what I would do. After getting the lab work done of course. Lithium toxicity is a big deal and playing it safe is the way to go I think.

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Get used to taking aspirin or acetaminophen. I was shocked to see my level go from 0.6 (just therapeutic) to 1.4 (potentially toxic) in one set of labs because I had a bad run of migraines and took lots of ibuprofen. I figured my level was low enough that it shouldn't matter, and I was wrong. It's possible that your level is not affected by NSAIDs, though that's tricky; unless you take them close to your blood draw, you may never know whether or not your level is going up. And in the meantime, I've found that aspirin works quite well for most kinds of pain, so most of the time, there's no reason to take ibuprofen or naproxen. Cox-2 inhibitors should also be avoided.

I hope you've been to the lab, your level is fine, and the symptoms you are having are the kind a beta blocker will take care of (I also can't take propranolol, but took nadolol for a couple of years with no problem).

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Im trying to get it taken care of but my vehicle got towed and i have no transportation to the free clinic or lab where they take the blood. I could take the bus but the lab is 8 blocks from the clinic which is a long walk at -20 wind chill. It warms up thurs. I see my pdoc a wk from friday. Nothing is easy and trying not to feel overwhelmed but i cant get anything done. And no right now i dont have friends to ask for help.

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Im trying to get it taken care of but my vehicle got towed and i have no transportation to the free clinic or lab where they take the blood. I could take the bus but the lab is 8 blocks from the clinic which is a long walk at -20 wind chill. It warms up thurs. I see my pdoc a wk from friday. Nothing is easy and trying not to feel overwhelmed but i cant get anything done. And no right now i dont have friends to ask for help.

Are you getting any worse or saying the same?

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Im trying to get it taken care of but my vehicle got towed and i have no transportation to the free clinic or lab where they take the blood. I could take the bus but the lab is 8 blocks from the clinic which is a long walk at -20 wind chill. It warms up thurs. I see my pdoc a wk from friday. Nothing is easy and trying not to feel overwhelmed but i cant get anything done. And no right now i dont have friends to ask for help.

Are you getting any worse or saying the same?

Not getting worse with the potential side effects. I stopped taking ibuprofen which I normally take fairly often. So my knee and neck hurt lol. I have some arthritis, just not diagnosed, and no OTC med helps besides ibuprofen. Sigh. But no I'm not getting worse which is a good thing. Thanks

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I get the shakes with Lithium but it's a side effect for me not toxicity. I get my levels checked every 3 months, my doc keeps me at a 1-1.2 level. I have noticed that it has gotten better with an improved diet i.e. little sugar, no caffeine, spacing my meals out (5 small meals instead of 2 or 3 large ones). For me the benefits of lithium far outweigh the costs.

:lol:

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Im trying to get it taken care of but my vehicle got towed and i have no transportation to the free clinic or lab where they take the blood. I could take the bus but the lab is 8 blocks from the clinic which is a long walk at -20 wind chill. It warms up thurs. I see my pdoc a wk from friday. Nothing is easy and trying not to feel overwhelmed but i cant get anything done. And no right now i dont have friends to ask for help.

Are you getting any worse or saying the same?

Not getting worse with the potential side effects. I stopped taking ibuprofen which I normally take fairly often. So my knee and neck hurt lol. I have some arthritis, just not diagnosed, and no OTC med helps besides ibuprofen. Sigh. But no I'm not getting worse which is a good thing. Thanks

Since you're not going to get your tests or see your doc for awhile, I think you should go ahead and cut back to 900. That's a normal dose for being in range. It won't hurt you and you can get test results based on that. Then, if your serum level is low, you can bump it back up. It's a precaution that I think you should take. Plus, then you could start taking the ibuprofen again since it helps you so much.

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